UFC hits Toronto with a pair of thrilling world title fights, headlined by featherweight champion Max Holloway going for his second defense against undefeated No.1 contender Brian Ortega. Also, in a bout for the vacant women’s flyweight championship, former strawweight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk battles No.1-ranked contender Valentina Shevchenko. UFC 231  takes place Saturday, Dec. 8 from Scotiabank Arena and will air live on Pay-Per-View.
Currently riding one of the most impressive win streaks in UFC history, Holloway (19-3, fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii) secured his first successful title defense with a spectacular TKO win over former titleholder Jose Aldo in December. During his run, he’s earned victories against former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens and Cub Swanson. Holloway aims to continue his dominant ways by dispatching an undefeated title threat.
Ortega (14-0 1NC, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) has been on a tear since joining the UFC in 2014. In his last three outings, he’s taken home four Fight Night bonuses, and in March, he became the first fighter to finish former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Known for his incredible grappling and evolving striking, he’s also finished Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano, Clay Guida and Thiago Tavares. With a UFC title in his sights, Ortega plans to hand Holloway his first loss in more than five years.
In the co-main event, former kickboxing rivals throw down for UFC gold.
The most dominant strawweight champ in UFC history, Jedrzejczyk (15-2, fighting out of Olsztyn, Poland) focuses her attention on the burgeoning 125-pound division. An aggressive and devastating Muay Thai striker, she’s delivered crowd-pleasing victories against Tecia Torres, Jessica Andrade, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Claudia Gadelha (twice). She’s now on the cusp of becoming the first female two-division champion in UFC history.
A former bantamweight title challenger, Shevchenko (15-3, fighting out of Lima, Peru by way of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) put the flyweight division on notice with a vicious submission win over Priscila Cachoeira in February. The 17-time world Muay Thai champion also holds spectacular victories against former women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm, Julianna Pena and Sarah Kaufman. She now looks to make good on her second UFC championship opportunity.
Additional bouts on the card include:
* No.5-ranked light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa (17-4, fighting out of London, England) battles fellow KO artist Thiago Santos (19-6, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
* Strawweight contenders collide when No.3-ranked Claudia Gadelha (16-3, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) takes on No.11 Nina Ansaroff (9-5, fighting out of Weston, Fla., USA)
* No.13-ranked Elias Theodorou (16-2, fighting out of Toronto, Canada) battles hard-hitting Eryk Anders (11-2, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala., USA)
* In an exciting lightweight bout, Olivier Aubin-Mercier (12-3, fighting out of Montreal, Canada) meets Gilbert Burns (14-3, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla., USA by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
* The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated winner Brad Katona (8-0, fighting out of Winnipeg, Canada) locks horns with Matthew Lopez (10-4, fighting out of Denver, Colo., USA)
* Chad Laprise (14-3, fighting out of Chatham, Ont., Canada) faces Dhiego Lima (14-7, fighting out of Atlanta, Ga., USA) in a clash of welterweight strikers
* John Makdessi (16-6, fighting out of Montreal, Canada) goes for his third straight victory when he takes on Diego Ferreira (13-2, fighting out of Pharr, Texas, USA by way of Amazonas, Brazil)
* Hakeem Dawodu (8-1-1, fighting out of Calgary, Canada) aims to keeps momentum rolling against gritty Kyle Bochniak (8-3, fighting out of Boston, Mass., USA)
* Devin Clark (9-2, fighting out of Sioux Falls, S.D., USA) looks to turn back surging Aleksandar Rakic (9-1, fighting out of Vienna, Austria)
Holloway is currently pending medical examination by the Ontario Athletics Commission.
UFC 231 will air live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Saturday, Dec. 8, with the prelims kicking off the evening on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and on UFC Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT.
Tickets for UFC 231 go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. ET and are priced at $378.50, $288.50, $193.50, $153.50, $133.50, $98.50, $83.50 CAD (does not include fees). Tickets are available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.ca. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person.
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday starting at 10 a.m. ET. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.