Max Holloway shrugged off questions regarding his health to author the performance of a lifetime at UFC 231.
The reigning featherweight champion retained his title in dominant fashion against Brian Ortega, overwhelming his opponent with sheer volume en route to a fourth-round stoppage at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Nothing changes at 145 pounds for “Blessed,” whose hold at the top of the division is threatened only by a potential move to 155 pounds in the near future.
Meanwhile, Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant women’s flyweight strap by besting former muay Thai rival Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the UFC 231 co-main event. “Bullet” was clearly the superior fighter over the course of five rounds and looks to be a difficult champion to dethrone as we head into 2019. Jedrzejczyk, perhaps the toughest opponent Shevchenko could have faced, is now a Top 3 fighter in two weight classes. Looming is a resurgent Jessica Eye, who enters the flyweight bubble list on the strength of a split verdict over Katlyn Chookagian in Toronto.
Elsewhere, Thiago Santos may have found a home at light heavyweight after a solid stint at 185 pounds. “Marreta” scored a second-round knockout of Jimi Manuwa in a wild brawl on the UFC 231 main draw, giving him two straight wins as a 205-er and a spot in our light heavyweight poll. Nina Ansaroff scored the biggest victory of her career to date by outpointing former title challenger Claudia Gadelha, a win which propels her to No. 5 at 115 pounds.
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