UFC 231 Betting Preview: Holloway vs. Ortega Odds, Trends, Card Analysis

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 04:  Max Holloway holds an open training session for fans and media during the UFC 226 and The Ultimate Fighter Finale Open Workouts at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on July 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3) has not lost since Conor McGregor beat him via unanimous decision when he was a 21-year-old in August 2013, as he has since reeled off 12 consecutive wins and captured the title belt heading into Saturday's championship bout against unbeaten challenger Brian Ortega (14-0, 1 no-contest) at UFC 231 in Toronto.

Holloway is listed as a small -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) to win his 13th straight bout on the UFC 231 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.

These two 145-pounders were originally scheduled to meet for the title at UFC 226 on July 7, but Holloway developed concussion-like symptoms leading up to the fight, and it was postponed until now. In fact, Holloway has not entered the Octagon in more than a year because of health issues, withdrawing from a matchup with former champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 because of a leg injury and later getting pulled from a shot at lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 following a severe weight cut.

That has opened the door for Ortega to climb the ranks quickly and earn a title shot in just his eighth UFC bout. A stunning first-round knockout of Edgar at UFC 222 as a fill-in for Holloway vaulted the 27-year-old California native into this position opposite the 27-year-old Hawaiian champ.

While Holloway's three-inch height edge still gives him a size advantage, Ortega's black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the training of Rener Gracie and three consecutive post-fight bonuses make him a dangerous opponent as well.

In the co-main event, the women's flyweight championship will be on the line when Valentina Shevchenko (15-3) takes on former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-2) for the vacant belt. Jedrzejczyk is moving up a weight class here from 115 pounds after losing two of her last three bouts to current strawweight champ Rose Namajunas, while Shevchenko is a former 135-pounder dropping down to 125.

Both women have a strong kickboxing background, with Shevchenko sporting a 56-2 mark and Jedrzejczyk going 27-3 in their respective careers before transitioning to MMA. Shevchenko is a strong -360 favorite against Jedrzejczyk (+270) based mainly on her experience fighting bigger opponents and strength with a 1.5-inch reach advantage.

     

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