Hol­loway-Ortega ti­tle bout in UFC Toronto

Business World - - World Sports - Michael An­gelo S. Muril­lio

UL­TI­MATE Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship (UFC) feath­er­weight cham­pion Max “Blessed” Hol­loway makes his Oc­tagon re­turn this week­end af­ter be­ing in­ac­tive for a year, tak­ing on num­ber one con­tender Brian “T-City” Ortega in the head­lin­ing ti­tle fight at “UFC 231” in Toronto, On­tario, Canada.

Hap­pen­ing at the Sco­tia­bank Arena on Sun­day (Manila time), Mr. Hol­loway (19-3) will de­fend his ti­tle for the sec­ond time and is look­ing to suc­ceed against a tough op­po­nent in the un­beaten Ortega (14-0). Amer­i­can Hol­loway last fought in De­cem­ber last year, dou­bling up on erst­while cham­pion Jose Aldo.

He won by tech­ni­cal knock­out in the third round (punches) to suc­cess­fully de­fend his ti­tle.

Mr. Hol­loway had an ex­tended break from the UFC af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with con­cus­sion­like symp­toms early this year, post­pon­ing his fight with Mr. Ortega which was sup­posed to hap­pen in July.

His op­po­nent, Ortega, mean­while, is com­ing off a first-round knock­out vic­tory over UFC leg­end Frankie Edgar in March this year. It was a con­tin­u­a­tion of his steady as­cent in the divi­sion, earn­ing a shot at the ti­tle in the process.

His last three fights, all by stop­page, in­clud­ing against Cub Swan­son and Re­nato Moicano pre­vi­ously, had earned Per­for­mance and/ or Fight of the Night hon­ors.

TOP FIGHT­ERS

For lo­cal com­bat sports writer and ob­server Mike Miguel, UFC 231 as fea­tur­ing the top feath­er­weights in mixed mar­tial arts right now is very in­trigu­ing and worth tak­ing no­tice.

“In UFC 231 peo­ple will get to fi­nally see the top feath­er­weights fi­nally go at it af­ter the July in­ci­dent. This should be an in­trigu­ing matchup style-wise. It is also go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing to see if Hol­loway has re­cov­ered from the con­cus­sion­like symp­toms he suf­fered lead­ing up to their sup­posed UFC 226 bout. If a healthy Hol­loway shows up this week­end, we can ex­pect the ‘Blessed’ era to con­tinue on,” said Mr. Miguel, who writes for RealFight.ph, when asked by Busi­nessWorld for his thoughts on the main event of UFC 231.

Serv­ing as co-main event for UFC 231 is the women’s fly­weight ti­tle fight be­tween Valentina “Bul­let” Shevchenko and Joanna Je­drze­jczyk.

Other fights on the main card are light heavy­weight Jimi Manuwa ver­sus Thi­ago San­tos, wel­ter­weight Alex Oliveira against Gun­nar Nel­son, and feath­er­weight Ha­keem Da­wodu vs. Kyle Bochniak.

UFC 231: Hol­loway vs Ortega will be shown live on Sun­day be­gin­ning at 11 a.m. over Hy­per Ch. 91 in SD or 261 in HD on Cig­nal TV with en­core show­ing at 7 p.m. on the same day.

In the Philip­pines, Cig­nal TV, the coun­try’s fore­most di­rect-to-home (DTH) com­pany, is the home of the UFC af­ter the two groups agreed to an ex­ten­sive deal that will see the UFC beamed on var­i­ous plat­forms. —

MIKE MIGUEL

UFC FEATH­ER­WEIGHT CHAM­PION Max Hol­loway will try to de­fend his ti­tle against Brian Ortega on Sun­day in Toronto.

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