At UFC 231, Max Holloway (20-3) retained his own title in a bout that was anything but easy.
Brian Ortega (14-1, 1 NC) gave the champion everything he had, ultimately succumbing to a doctor’s stoppage at the end of four rounds.
The anticipation was high for this bout so it came to no surprise to see how fast these two men came out of the blocks. The early rounds was mostly dictated by Holloway’s striking ability, showcasing with his elite stamina. Max was in the face of Ortega all night long.
The challenger, however, had his fair share of success as well. During the first two rounds, he managed to secure two takedowns on Holloway—something you seldom see done to the champion. But the middle rounds were where Ortega did most of his work, landing eye opening shots that wobbled Holloway.
The Hawaiian-born champion soon after began to thrive off the aggressive nature of Ortega. Following’s the challenger best round in the third period, Holloway followed that up with a sensational round of work himself. In Round 4, he poured on the combinations, brutalizing his target, and closing the left eye of Ortega.
— Round By Round MMA (@rbrmma) December 9, 2018
At the conclusion of the fourth stanza, the ringside physician couldn’t let the fight go on.
Despite Ortega’s best efforts, Holloway is still king of the 145-pound division.
“Is there anybody else? Step forward,” Holloway said in the cage after the fight. “A king has to defend his throne.”
Shevchenko muscles up Jedrzejczyk, wins dominant decision
In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko (16-3) outworked and, to a certain extent, dominated Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3).
The new Flyweight champion did whatever she wanted, easily dragging Jedrzejczyk down to the mat time and time again. It seemed as though Joanna was counting on her striking abilities to carry her through to a victory.
Credit Valentina for making her work. She didn’t allow the former Strawweight champion to gain any momentum or feel comfortable tonight. Even when Joanna would begin to have a little success on the feet, Valentina would hit her with a big shot that swayed the momentum or she would simply bring her down to the mat.
It was an easy night’s work for the new Flyweight champion.