MMA Preview – Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega at UFC 226

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC 226? Sunday 8th July, 2018 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 226? T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada

What channel is UFC 226 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC 226? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

Are tickets still available for UFC 226? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

What better way to set up the super fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier than to have two of the brightest and best talents in the UFC duke it out for the featherweight championship. Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway defends his crown against the unbeaten Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega.

These guys improve drastically each time they enter the cage. Holloway has only lost to Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor but he was only 20 and 21 years old at the time and has since won 12 fights in a row, proving he is the best in the division after finishing the greatest featherweight champion of all time in Jose Aldo – twice.

Ortega is embarking on a similar rise and since joining the UFC in 2014 at the age of 23 he has strung together impressive wins and, like Holloway, none more so than in his last two fights – an astonishing submission over Cub Swanson and a shocking knockout of Frankie Edgar.

Their styles make it impossible for this to be a boring fight. Holloway is immaculate on the feet and uses his movement, reach and technique to destructive effect whereas Ortega is a Jiu-Jitsu wizard and truly one of the best practitioners in MMA. His submission game is so dangerous but he also proved the calibre of his stand-up by upper cutting Edgar, who had never been knocked out before, into another dimension.

THE PREDICTION

The biggest threat to Holloway’s title is clearly in the grappling of Ortega and even though his last fight with Edgar will make the champ wary of the power in his hands, he will be more than confident of winning the stand-up battle.

Ortega is used to having the reach advantage which helps him tie up chokes at will but he will not have the advantage over Holloway. ‘Blessed’ is all about delivering constant damage from range and has the technique to outclass Ortega even though they have the same reach. So, T-City will feel Holloway out on the feet but will try and clinch up soon if he eats too many shots.

So, Holloway will look to overwhelm with his output and movement on the feet but Ortega is so dangerous and only needs a slight mistake to find a finish. A mistake while grappling and Ortega can cinch a submission from anywhere. Whether that is on the feet, in the clinch or even in his guard, he always finds a way to win regardless of how the fight is going.

Ortega has proven you can never count him out and Holloway will have to be at his very best to find the win. It his hard to pick against Ortega but Holloway has too much class to slip up.

Winner: Holloway via Decision

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric