A Look Ahead To UFC 231 Where 'T-City' Takes The Title

Clint MacLean

Sunday, December 2, 2018 1:24 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 1:24 PM UTC

UFC 231 is a stacked card with tons of value and Brian "T-City" Ortega will wrap the night up by taking the belt!

Max Holloway vs. Brian OrtegaFree UFC Pick: Brian Ortega +110Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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After a long run of free and UFC cards and a double-header we final have a big UFC fight with a stacked card and a title on the line! UFC 231 is the main course that all these little appetizer cards have been leading up to. The main event features the two best flyweights we have ever seen.

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Max Holloway (-130) is the current flyweight king and he got there by KOing the former champion and future hall of famer Jose Aldo not once, but twice! And he made it look easy. Hollway is 19-3 and is currently riding a ridiculous 12 fight win streak with wins over Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis, and Jose Aldo. Nine of those 12 wins have come inside the distance. Max already has cemented himself as the potentialy greatest of all time at flyweight and a candidate for being on the short list of pound for pound greats.

Brian "T-City" Ortega (+110) is very special fighter who is a perfect 14-0 with only 4 of those wins coming via decision. Ortega was a fighter I recently attempted to fade when he faced former champion and perennial contender Frankie Edgar and that was a mistake. At UFC 222 T-City did what no man before him has done and KO'd Frankie Edgar. Not only that but he did it in the first round! Until that point Ortega had looked impressive but hadn't fought any current top-tier talent and I thought he would taste his first loss due to Frankie's wrestling game and endless gas tank.

What shocked me was how obvious it was that Ortega was un-phased by Frankie's wrestling ability. Ortega was able to masterfully manage the distance in that fight and avoid any attempts made to take the battle to the mat. To those who haven't been following Ortega's career this is especially surprising because he is a phenom on the ground. Ortega is a high level black belt under Rener Gracie himself and has seven professional MMA wins by submission. He was awarded that black belt 5 years ago in 2013 when he was only 22 years old. You would expect him to be very comfortable and confident on the ground but instead he chose to stand surprising everybody and KO'd the unbreakable Frankie Edgar. My eyes were opened.

Normally you would think of this spot as a "buy low" for the champion Max Holloway. He doesn't usually make it under the -230 mark. However, Max recently had a health scare.

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We are still unsure of the facts surrounding the issue, but he looked to have a very bad concussion in interviews leading up to this fights first attempted scheduling. There is speculation that he was hurt in training but Max also had a scare attempting to make a last minute appearance for UFC 233 against current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Max offered to step in when the main event fell apart, but was unable to cut the weight in time to make the fight. Max and Brian are both massive for the flyweight division and Max has made it clear his future will be at lightweight. Nothing has been confirmed, but the thought is this may be Max's last fight at 145 win or lose.

Given the concussion, the weight issues, and the spectacular opponent in Ortega I cannot bring myself to be the champion in this spot. There are too many questions surrounding Holloway and we are getting a nice little dog price on an undefeated killer. Your Free Pick for the UFC 231 Main Event is Brian "T-City" Ortega!

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