The UFC 226 (8 July) will determine whether Max Holloway stays the UFC featherweight champion. His challenger, Brian Ortega, is a tough and unpredictable opponent, but that shouldn’t discourage gambling enthusiasts from betting on Max Holloway.
Ortega paved his way to the fight by becoming the first man to knock out Frankie Edgar at the UFC 222. He was a replacement for an injured Holloway and was considered an underdog against Edgar.
That fight gave Ortega an opportunity to showcase his ability to oppose pressure. He disarmed the aggressive, come-forward Edgar with a well-timed left elbow. Then, striking (quite literally) while the iron was hot, Ortega landed a right uppercut that knocked out the already unsteady Edgar. He is now setting out to repeat that performance against Edgar’s original opponent, Holloway. What do experts think about his chances?
The official betting odds for the Holloway vs Ortega fight
Online sportsbook sites in the UK suggest that Ortega won’t be able to cause another upset. Bet365 Sportsbook, for instance, offers -188 for Holloway and +162 for Ortega. But let us not jump to hasty assumptions. It would be wise to examine the fighters’ strengths before making a prediction.
Do the contenders’ skill sets encourage betting on Holloway or picking Ortega?
The reason Ortega has been underestimated in the past is his unpredictability. He would get more credit from online sportsbooks in the UK if he was more consistent (although he is improving from fight to fight). Still, his background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu counterbalances this inconsistency, as his formidable kicks enable him to create dangerous opportunities out of the blue. In other words, his opponents have to be on their toes until the very last second.
That being said, Ortega will probably want to take the fight to the ground this time. Holloway’s striking is much better and the only area where Ortega looks stronger is wrestling. We got a taste of how dangerous Ortega’s grapples could be in his last fight: when he attempted a chokehold, Edgar barely managed to escape from it. Holloway will have to be extremely careful not to get caught in any of those grapples.
However, Holloway’s fans know that he is up to the task. Holloway is the kind of fighter who knows how to adjust to his opponents and break them down piece by piece. If there is anybody who can find his way around the unpredictability that Ortega represents, it’s Holloway. And that is the biggest reason we’re betting on Holloway to win the UFC 226.