Sunday, March 18, 2018
Max Holloway UFC 226 Brian T-City Ortega
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 226 Featherweight Championship Odds: Holloway Opens As Favorite Versus Ortega

By Joe Tussing

Betting lines for UFC 226 are out and Featherweight Champ Max Holloway opens up as a -170 favorite against #1 contender Brian “T-city” Ortega who opens at +140.

Per Brian Okamoto of ESPN , the odds were released at MMAOdssBreakers first and “the UFC has not announced a date for the 145-pound title fight, but UFC president Dana White has confirmed Ortega will be Holloway’s next opponent”

The News of Holloway (19-3) opening as a favorite shouldn’t be surprising to MMA fans. After taking the featherweight title from Anthony Pettis by KO and receiving the performance of the night bonus, Holloway went on to KO Jose Aldo in the 3rd round of back to back title defenses. Max “ Blessed” Holloway has been on an absolute tear and is unbeaten since his decision loss to Conor McGregor in 2013, Holloway is riding a 13 fight win streak into what could be his biggest test since facing McGregor

With seven KOs and two submissions in his last 12 fights, Holloway has beaten every challenger the featherweight division has to offer. A very good stand up fighter with a tight ground game, Holloway is a serious threat on his feet and on the ground. He will look to keep this fight standing against the Gracie Black Belt Brian Ortega. Holloway is very clean standing up, using a pawing jab to set up very crisp combos. He is talented at keeping his right hand high and does well defending power shots. He is a durable and gritty fighter, “ Blessed” has been known to point at the canvas to try and draw his opponent into a slugfest. He has ended all three of his title fights by KO and will look to do the same when he takes on Brian Ortega.

What is a bit more surprising is the +140 opening for the 14-0 “T-City” Ortega, although becoming the first person to finish Frankie Edgar may warrant such exuberance. With 3 submissions and three KOs in his six UFC fights Ortega is quickly becoming one of the most feared fighters on the roster. A Black Belt under Rener Gracie, Ortega sports a perfect 14-0 record and has only been to the judges five times in his career. Having an unmatched ground game has given Ortega time to improve his striking, which was on display as he KO’d Frankie Edgar at UFC 222. Using a nice jab and solid fundamentals, Ortega has found a lot of success on his feet since his first KO over Thiago Tavares in his UFC debut.

So we are presented with a fight of what could be viewed as opposite fighters; an extremely crisp and effective striker with good ground game in Holloway taking on one of the best grapplers with ever-improving striking in Ortega.

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About Adam Greene

Adam Greene is a sportswriter, photographer and humorist. You can email him (and you should) at

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