Weekend Warrior: Double Jeopardy at UFC 231

Brian Ortega throws a punch. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Max Holloway has what Brian Ortega wants. Holloway will defend his undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight title against the unbeaten Ortega in the UFC 231 headliner on Saturday at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Meanwhile, Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will step into the co-main event slot, as they square off for the vacant women’s flyweight crown.

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Spawned by the Gracie Technics camp in his native Hawaii, Holloway has rattled off 12 consecutive victories and become a staple on pound-for-pound lists. The 27-year-old last fought at UFC 218, where he cut down Jose Aldo with third-round punches in their rematch a little more than a year ago. Wins over Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson buoy the impressive Holloway resume.

Max Holloway punches Jose Aldo. Photo: Dave Reginek (Getty Images)

Ortega has finished six straight opponents, building considerable momentum during his climb on the featherweight ladder. The Rener Gracie-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt last competed at UFC 222 on March 3, when he wiped out future Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar with first-round punches. Ten of Ortega’s 14 career victories have come by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

UFC 231 “Holloway vs. Ortega” — which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT — will also feature a welterweight encounter pairing Alex Oliveira with Gunnar Nelson, a featherweight battle pitting Hakeem Dawodu against Kyle Bochniak and a light heavyweight tilt matching Thiago Santos with Jimi Manuwa. Fox Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) and UFC Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT) will share coverage of the seven-fight undercard, which includes a women’s strawweight showdown slotting Claudia Gadelha opposite Nina Ansaroff and a light heavyweight clash between Aleksandar Rakic and Devin Clark.

Aleksandar Rakic after bout against Justin Ledet. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

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Meanwhile, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship anchors the regional slate with Cage Warriors 100 on Saturday at the Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales. The fate of the European promotion’s bantamweight title will hang the balance in the main event, as Jack Shore faces fellow undefeated prospect Mike Ekundayo. The show will stream live to UFC Fight Pass at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.

Finally, the Legacy Fighting Alliance organization closes out its 2018 campaign with LFA 56 on Friday at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Austin Hubbard will lock horns with Killys Mota for the vacant LFA lightweight championship in the five-round headliner. AXS-TV will carry the event live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

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