Detroit is getting a good one, since the Octagon takes up residence in the Motor City for UFC 218 on December 2. The main event is a rematch between featherweight champion Max Holloway and Jose Aldo, who owned the branch for nearly a decade.
However, this card is much more than just the major event. The PPV part of the card also features a banger of a heavyweight fight between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou, in addition to a bout between Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez to determine who is the most barbarous fighter in the company.
Max Holloway vs Jose Aldo
Max Holloway (-300) includes a game program built on excellent fundamentals and footwork. “Blessed” is always angling and moving his feet to discover the best opportunity to attack, working a pressure-based style. That being said, Holloway is also plenty capable of using his height and reach advantage that he generally retains to stick-and-move. The Hawaiian loves bullying his opponent against the cage where he can place his feet and toss wicked combinations.
Grappling isn’t something which Holloway partakes in voluntarily and his amazing takedown defense — he has not yet been taken down in his previous eight fights — signifies his opposition rarely has the chance to. His size generally leads to Holloway with a massive leverage edge if the battle goes into the clinch, which permits him to break easily and get back into space.
Jose Aldo’s (+230) sport is built around defense and time. Though this doesn’t seem the sexiest, it has enabled”Scarface” to methodically dismantle virtually every competitor in his manner. He’s more of a counter-striker who’ll wait on his opponent to commit before angling off, with a number of the best footwork in MMA, to land a stinging punch or trademark low kick. However, this did not occur in the first fight. Aldo ended up throwing first — and leaving himself open — and not throwing leg kicks, which was a massive issue.
In terms of grappling, it’s mostly utilized medicinally for Aldo. The Brazilian has some of their best defensive wrestling seen in MMA and, on the rare occasion if he can get taken down, he has the grappling ability to create a scramble and get back to his feet. Although he rarely uses it offensively, Aldo is a good wrestler in his own right. Again, he unites great technical skills with his incredible timing to burst into takedowns. Once on top, Aldo’s rarely seen BJJ black belt takes over and he moves effortlessly.
I simply do not believe much has changed since the first fight. Holloway will enter certain and will still have a decided advantage in terms of size. If Aldo is patient and gets back to his leg-kicking manners, then this may be a tight fight. But, I really don’t think there is an obvious route to success for Aldo.
Prediction: Max Holloway (-300)
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