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UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega main card live results, discussion, play by play

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Live, blow-by-blow updates for today’s UFC 231 main card from Toronto, which is headlined by two title fights.

Join us today on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring, and play-by-play as UFC 231 goes down in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

The main event will see UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway defending his title against top contender Brian Ortega. In the co-main, Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will compete for the vacant women’s flyweight title.

This post will cover the main card.

The show kicks off on Fight Pass at approximately 6pm ET with four fights. The card then moves to FS1 at 8pm ET for four more bouts, then onto the main PPV card at 10pm ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. The prelims will be covered in a separate post.

Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on the each matchup.

Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega

Round 1 - Holloway lands to the body. Ortega pawing with straight punches from both hands. Ortega with a leg kick and a right. Holloway lands a solid right of his own. Holloway with two more straight rights. Ortega goes to leg kicks. Holloway with more patented body work. Quick lead left from Ortega. Holloway with a lead right but eats a counter. Holloway flurries. Ortega with a beautiful counter left/elbow. Holloway with a fast lead right. Ortega with a double-leg takedown but Holloway scoots away pretty much immediately. Straight left at the end of a combo from Holloway. Another. Ortega with counters. Ortega getting a little loose. Holloway with a fast jab and two rights over the top. Counter from Ortega and a head kick! He jumps in on a single leg. Can’t get it before the round ends. Great balance from Holloway. 10-9 Holloway.

Round 2 - Holloway with a jab. He connects with a leg kick. Lead right hook lands. Quick leg kick and another fast lead right from Blessed. Ortega is having trouble timing him. Ortega’s nose is bleeding badly. He lands a counter but Max is touching him up. Ortega has nothing for that lead right. He has some decent counters still though. Head kick from Holloway! Ortega with a right over the top. He’s wearing the crimson mask though. Holloway with another hard straight right. Now a counter right. Holloway puts together a beautiful combo. Another right, and he digs to the body. Ortega lands a counter and his own lead right though. Holloway pops him four times in a row. Ortega with another nice counter. 10-9 Holloway.

Round 3 - Holloway with a leg kick. Body kick from Ortega. They trade rights. Holloway goes inside, then comes out with a hard right hook. Body work. Ortega with a huge combo! He may have hurt Max! He goes for a takedown and almost gets the back but Holloway spins out. Another right from Ortega. The tide has officially shifted. Spinning elbow! Chopping leg kick. Left hook. All Ortega right now. They trade low leg kicks. Holloway peppers a combo in there. Uppercut from Ortega. Holloway sticks him with a left. Ortega just misses with a spinning back fist. Holloway scores with a right. Ortega clinches. Holloway spins out with two hard rights. Just misses with an elbow. Side elbow attempt from Ortega. They trade rights. AGain. They’re banging. Head kick from Ortega. Holloway puts together a nice combo. Short elbow too. This is a great round. Holloway with a counter combo. Ortega looks for a takedown but settles into the clinch. 10-9 Ortega.

Round 4 - Hollowa with a huge right to start. He digs to the body. Goes to the left now, and again. He’s all over him. Now he’s showboating. Completely different fighter than the last round. Full of confidence. Counter right hook right on the money for Holloway. Ortega cracks back with a right to the body and the chin. Holloway to the body now. I can’t een keep up. Holloway has Ortega hurt! He’s against the fence, opening up to the face and the body. Ortega with a right now though! The volume here is just unbelievable. Holloway goes head/body, head body. Ortega is backing up, he’s feeling these shots. He looks for a takedown. Can’t get it. Knees to the body in the clinch from Holloway. Ortega briefly jumps for the quillotine but Max has it scouted. He goes for his own guillotine now, but Ortega pulls out. Holloway lets him back to his feet. Ortega looks for a single. Ortega can’t get it. He pushes Ortega to the mat, and goes right into mount. Ortega goes for a leg and Holloway backs out. He lands four straight shots to Ortega’s busted up face. At least 10 more in a row. Ortega stil there, looking for a takedown. His eye is basically shut. 10-9 Holloway.

The doctor won’t let Ortega come out for round five due to his eye. Max Holloway wins. What a fight.

Max Holloway defeated Brian Ortega via TKO (doctor stoppage), 5:00 of round 4

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Round 1 - They trade low kicks. Joanna pumping the jab as a range finder. Shevchenko with uber fast low leg kicks. Joanna lands one but eats a counter. Shevchenko wades inside and gets a takedown right into side control. Joanna is trying to posture up but she ate a couple of shots. Jedrzejczyk manages to squirm out back to her feet though. They battle against the cage. Knees inside from Joanna. Shevchenko can’t hit a judo toss. Really extended battle here. They finally separate with 1:20 to go. Jedrzejczyk is throwing strikes just slightly out of range. Joanna with a low leg kick, and Valentina catches her with a beautiful spinning back kick to the gut. Shevchenko with a leg kick. 10-9 Shevchenko.

Round 2 - Snap low kick from Valentina. Joanna with a counter right that connects. Front kick. Shevchenko with a counter straight left, which makes Joanna smile. Body kick from Shevchenko. Leg kicks from Joanna. Nice combo from Valentina. Joanna with a leg kick. Straight left scores for Shevchenko. She’s sitting on the counter a bit now, and it’s working. Joanna is mostly throwing single shots. Shevchenko with a counter right. Shevchenko catches a kick and takes Jedrzejczyk down briefly. She pops back up but then is taken down again very emphatically. Into side again. Hard elbow. The strength difference is very noticeable here. More short elbows from Valentina. Joanna gets back up, but eats a knee to the grill and is thrown back down before the horn. 10-9 Shevchenko.

Round 3 - Two front kicks in a row from Shevchenko. Joanna is throwing with volume but it’s just out of range again. Again, Valentina catches her with a counter spinning back kick to the gut. That was awesome. They trade rights inside. Shevchenko spins again. She catches a kick again, but Joanna spins away this time. Leg kick from Jedrzejczyk, and a right hook. Head kick! She’s finding her distance now. Body shot. Low kick from Shevchenko. Counter body kick from Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko ties her up inside but can’t take her down this time. They trade low kicks. Superwoman punch and a leg kick, GSP style. Shevchenko catches a kick again but can’t get the takedown. Crazy knee to the face from an odd angle. Another. 10-9 Shevchenko.

Round 4 - Joanna stepping up the pace early. Low kicks and throwing hands. Not landing anything of note yet though. Shevchenko wades into the clinch and lands two knees and an elbow. Joanna backs out. Counter right from Shevchenko. She catches a kick and trips Jedrzejczyk to the mat. Side control again. Beautiful spin to the other side, but Joanna gets half, then powers her way up. They’re grappling against the cage and Joanna is trying to take her back standing. Shevchenko manages to straighten herself out. Extended battle in the clinch, and Joanna fights off a few takedown attempts. Joanna reverses and they separate with 50 seconds to go. They trade shos. Beautiful combo from Shevchenko. Joanna closes strong. 10-9 Shevchenko.

Round 5 - Nice combination from Jedrzejczyk. Front kick to the body. She’s throwing a ton of kicks. Shevchenko is much more measured so far. They get in close and Valentina muscles Joanna to the cage. She holds her there with a body lock. Joanna is peppering her with short shots. The ref separates them with three minutes to go. Joanna with a hard right. Valentina with her own. Hard front body kicks from both ladies. Sweet combo from Valentina ended with an inside leg kick. Spinning back kick from Shevchenko. Joanna with a quick left inside, and a leg kick. Counter outside leg kick from Shevchenko. 90 seconds left. Hard combos from both fighters. Shevchenko spins again, then clinches. Jedrzejczyk can’t get off the fence for a while, but gets separation with 30 seconds to go. Valentina spins. Joanna presse the action. Shevchenko ties her up. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk, but 49-46 Shevchenko.

Valentina Shevchenko defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Alex Oliveira vs. Gunnar Nelson

Round 1 - Hard outside leg kick from Cowboy. Nelson closes the distance but eats a couple of elbows in close. Nelson can’t get the takedown. He scooped Oliveira up but Cowboy grabs the cage. The ref steps in and doesn’t take a point, but gives Gunni the position back. Odd decision, but whatever. Nelson continues to fight for the takedown on the restart, and gets it. Back control. Body triangle. Oliveira is hand fighting. He’s trying to punch his way out, and eventually rolls over into Nelson’s guard. He postures up with a few big shots. He backs out, then jumps back in with hard elbows and punches. Oliveira pops in and out with more punching. Nelson briefly attacks a leg, but punches in the face shit that down quick. He then drags Oliveira down with an ankle lock attempt though! They’re in a pseudo 50-50 position. 10-9 Oliveira.

Round 2 - More measured start. Oliveira with a leg kick and he clinches. They spend an extended period of time there. The crowd is restless. Nelson spins him around and gets a takedown. Straight to mount with three minutes left. Wow. Nelson gets a little higher, but Oliveira is doing a good job of staying out of danger. Not a lot happening despite the dominant position. One minute left. Nice elbow from Nelson, and again. He’s busted wide open with a crazy cut. Literal fountain of blood in a few seconds. He gives up his back and gets submitted just like that. Crazy.

Gunnar Nelson defeated Alex Oliveira via submission (rear naked choke), 4:17 of round 2

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak

Round 1 - Dawodu with an inside leg kick and a left hook. Bochniak circling and throwing leg kicks. Patient start overall though. Another leg kick and a left from Bochniak. Nice lead left too. Dawodu with a nice combo. Leg kick. He keeps going back to the leg kick to set up his hands, but he’s not catching much. Bochniak looks to grapple and drags Dawodu to the mat briefly. Dawodu sluffs him off though. Body kick from Dawodu. 10-9 Dawodu.

Round 2 - Dawodu with a body shot. And again. Nice inside leg kick again from Dawodu. Dawodu with a combo. Bochniak grabs a leg and dumps Dawodu to the mat, but only for a literal second. Bochniak circling but he’s not landing much. He does connect with a left in close though. Dawodu with a nice counter left and a body kick. Bochnick lands a body kick. Bochniak tries to grapple but gets nowhere. Nice lead right hook on the break though. Bochniak looks for a takedown but settles for a brief clinch. 10-9 Dawodu.

Round 3 - Dawodu with a body shot. They trade combos. Bochniak catches a kick and clinches, but can’t take it anywhere. A lead right hook scores for Bochniak. Dawodu with a combo. Bochniak with a double-leg takedown. He moves to side against the cage with three minutes to go, but Dawodu spins out and gets back to his feet. Bochniak scores with a lead left over the top. Dawodu stuffs three takedown attempts in a row. Nice head/body combo from Dawodu. Hard front kick from the Canadian. Dawodu with body kicks and fast combos. Bochniak is a step behind. He looks for a takedown again but is easily stuffed. Beautiful three-punch combo from Dawodu. Bochniak fires back but gets hurt to the body at the horn. 10-9 and 30-27 Dawodu.

Hakeem Dawodu defeated Kyle Bochniak via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)

Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos

Round 1 - Santos quickly drops Manuwa with a left hook! He’s back up and gets dropped again! Manuwa somehow recovers though and clinches. That’s quite the start! Manuwa wit a left hook over the top. Santos hurts him again with a punch. Manuwa clinches again. Knee to the belly from Manuwa. Santos trying to rabbit punch inside. Manuwa backs off and lands a straight right and an elbow. Manuwa with a jab that got Santos’ attention. Santos spins. They end up on the floor briefly. I can barely keep up. Santos with a knee to the body in the clinch once they returned to the feet. Manuwa with an uppercut! Santos fires back! The crowd loves it. Hard knees in the clinch from both men. Santos with a hard elbow on the break. He just misses with a spinning wheel kick. Manuwa cracks him right back! Santos with a spinning switch kick that totally misses, but looked amazing. Manuwa ends up on his back on the ground to close things out. That was a hell of a round! 10-9 Santos.

Round 2 - Nice lead left from Santos. He scores with a kick too. Manuwa gets inside but eats two nasty left hooks. They step back and throw like hockey players, and Santos clips him with another left hook! Another! Manuwa is down! It’s over! That was one of the more violent fights I’ve seen in a few years.

Thiago Santos defeated Jimi Manuwa via KO (strikes), :41 of round 2

Main card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)