Current UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway is ready for his next challenge.
Known as “BlessedMMA” on Twitter, Holloway will defend his featherweight title against the undefeated Brian Ortega (14-0-NC) at UFC 226 on Saturday from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
On December 10, 2016, Holloway defeated Anthony Pettis to win the interim UFC Featherweight title, and is coming off two straight wins against Jose Aldo, at UFC 212 and UFC 218, successfully defending his title once.
Ortega presents Holloway his toughest test yet. He is a black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and has a background in boxing as well. Ortega’s diverse skill-set makes him a difficult opponent to prepare against because he is as comfortable standing up as he is on the ground.
Of Ortega’s career finishes, seven have come by submission (four triangle, one by RNC, two by guillotine), three by knockout, and four fights went to decision. Ortega first made his UFC debut July 2014, and defeated Michael De La Torrie via first-round (1:39) submission, a decision that was later overturned and ruled a “no contest” after he tested positive for drostanolone during post-fight screening.
Since his debut, Ortega has won his past six fights in the Octagon, three via submission, two via knockout and one via TKO, earning “Fight of the Night” honor on three separate occasions.
Holloway has won four of his past six fights in the Octagon via TKO, the other two – against Jeremy Stephens and Ricardo Lamas – were via unanimous decision. Holloway is one of the best pure strikers in the history of the division, and has indispensable takedown defense to boot. Holloway’s 83% takedown prevention rate is third among active UFC featherweights, and Aldo, the No. 1 fighter on the list, has already succumbed to, as mentioned previously.
In one of the most hyped bouts of the night, most consider this fight to be somewhat of a toss-up.
Holloway is currently the -147 betting favorite for Saturday, not a distinctively large advantage over Ortega, who is a +127 underdog, according to Oddsshark.com.