UFC 231 – Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega – Betting Predictions

assignment helpFrom a fan’s standpoint, UFC 231 is a fantastic occasion. In terms of betting opportunities, I am feeling lukewarm. But here are my breakdowns of the fights I’m trying to play. Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Decorated jiu-jitsu winner and second degree black belt, Gilbert Burns, was working on his striking in the past several years. Training beneath famed Dutch kickboxer, Henri Hooft, Burns is now comfortable wherever the fight takes place.
Together with his newfound striking abilities, Burns scored strong knockout victories over Jason Saggo and Dan Moret. Unfortunately, opting to bang Dan Hooker was devastating and Burns was violently finished in his last struggle. I lost money thinking Burns would grapple — oh well!
Even though a solid striker, Burns takes risks defensively and loads up on his own shots. Dan Hooker is the kind of fighter that could capitalize on defensive lapses — but I’m not sure Olivier Aubin-Mercier is.
Coming out of a judo history, Aubin-Mercier is exceptionally strong in the clinch and heavy from top position. While he’s a whole lot more skilled on the toes than he used to be, Aubin-Mercier still lacks the fluidity of someone that is a pure striker. He is light on his feet, in and out with his motion and slightly tentative — but is true when he fires.
While Aubin-Mercier is a jiu-jitsu brown belt, so I doubt he would like to go to the mat with Burns. The muscle-bound human blanket, Michel Prazeres, refused to dive to the guard of Gilbert Burns — that speaks volumes.
In his last fight, Aubin-Mercier looked a step behind in the scrambles against Alexander Hernandez and I would anticipate a master of body manipulation like Gilbert Burns to dominate on the mat as well (though I wish there was more footage of Burns fighting off his back to make a better assessment).
I think the striking trades will be aggressive, but I give Burns a small edge. Stylistically, this looks tricky for Aubin-Mercier and that I can not predict his strategy. Perhaps the Canadian will attempt to restrain his opponent against the fence, but minus shooting takedowns?
I do believe Aubin-Mercier is the better athlete and has the superior cardio. Still, I’ll take my chances of Gilbert Burns as a +120 underdog like I think he must be a slight favorite.
Elias Theodorou vs. Eryk Anders
In a middleweight showdown between two boxers with contrasting styles (and personalities), Eryk Anders takes on Elias Theodorou.
A great athletic, Anders is volatile yet has great cardio. Fighting out of the southpaw stance, Anders packs enormous power in his left hand but in my view, goes head searching a bit too much. In his last bout, Thiago Santos was prepared for the primary weapon of Anders — which restricted his offensive victory.

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