<
>
Get ESPN+

How to bet UFC 231: Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega

play
Holloway: 'I feel like a champ' (1:23)

Max Holloway joins Ariel Helwani to discuss the state of his health as he heads into UFC 231 to fight Brian Ortega (1:23)

The featherweight division that birthed the sensation of Conor McGregor now appears to be wholly owned by young Hawaiian champion Max Holloway. McGregor has moved on from 145 pounds, and Holloway has methodically amassed a 12-fight win streak since his last loss (to McGregor), capped by back-to-back knockouts of the formerly dominant champion Jose Aldo.

Featherweight is clearly Holloway's division now, and yet the market pegs this weekend's title fight against relative newcomer Brian Ortega as nearly a pick 'em. That's because Ortega's rise to the marquee has been similarly impressive. He's undefeated in his seven UFC appearances, finishing each and every opponent inside three rounds. That run included four performance bonuses in just his past three fights.

It's a matchup that has fans and betting windows split, and that's partly due to the contrasting strengths of each man. Let's take a closer look at the main event to decide if the odds are accurate, and also consider some justifiable favorites and value picks elsewhere on the card.

Max Holloway (-130) vs. Brian Ortega (+110)

Stylistically, the numbers reveal a sharper contrast than we might expect. Though Ortega stunned the MMA world by being the first to knock out former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, his hands aren't best in class. Though his power is greater than Holloway's, his technical striking allows opponents to out-land him in the long run. He offers only slightly above-average accuracy on a mediocre pace, combined with poor head strike defense.