Max Holloway is hoping that the fourth time is a charm after making weight at the UFC 231 official early weigh-in in Toronto.
Holloway has had three previously scheduled bouts fall through, but stepped on the scale Friday at 144.5 pounds for his UFC featherweight title defense against Brian Ortega on Saturday. Holloway had a stern look of determination on his face when he made his way to the scale. Ortega also made weight at 144.75 pounds.
A fight with Frankie Edgar fell through in March because of a Holloway leg injury. He then attempted to be a short-notice opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in April, but the New York State Athletic Commission pulled him, deeming his weight cut too severe. Then, in July, his first scheduled bout with Ortega was nixed when Holloway was pulled again, this time for displaying concussion-like symptoms the week of the fight.
If all goes well between now and fight time, Holloway and Ortega, one of the more highly anticipated match-ups in UFC lightweight history, will finally take place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Not one to suffer from any less anticipation is the UFC 231 co-main event, which pits former strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk against former bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko in a battle for the vacant UFC women's flyweight championship.
Coming from opposite ends of the scale, neither woman had an issue with her weight. Jedrzejczyk stepped up from her usual weight class and tipped the scale at 123.75 pounds. Shevchenko, who was fighting at 135 pounds, tipped the scale at a championship weight of 123.5 pounds.
The only real drama of the weigh-in was waiting for Renato Moicano, the official back-up fighter for the featherweight main event, needed until the final minute of the weigh-in to step on the scale. The only fighter that needed a towel on the scale, Moicano weighed 146 pounds, which was not enough to be considered eligible for championship contention.
Though he missed the mark, Moicano was given an additional hour by the Toronto commission to try and get down to 145 pounds just in case Holloway or Ortega somehow doesn't make it to the cage on Saturday.
[UPDATE] Shortly after the weigh-in, we were informed that Moicano would not continue cutting weight, so he would be ineligible for a title fight.
UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega Fight Card
Main Card (10 p.m. ET on Pay-Per-View)
Max Holloway (c)(144.5) vs. Brian Ortega (144.75)*
Valentina Shevchenko (123.5) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (123.75)**
Alex Oliveira (171) vs. Gunnar Nelson (170.25)
Hakeem Dawodu (145.75) vs. Kyle Bochniak (145)
Jimi Manuwa (204.75) vs. Thiago Santos (205.75)
Prelims (8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1)
Cláudia Gadelha (115.5) vs. Nina Ansaroff (115.25)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (155.75) vs. Gilbert Burns (155.75)
Katlyn Chookagian (125.75) vs. Jessica Eye (126)
Elias Theodorou (184.5) vs. Eryk Anders (186)
Early Prelims (6:15 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass)
Brad Katona (135.5) vs. Matthew Lopez (135.5)
Chad Laprise (171) vs. Dhiego Lima (170.25)
Carlos Diego Ferreira (155.75) vs. Kyle Nelsen (155.5)
Devin Clark (205) vs. Aleksandar Rakić (206)
*For UFC featherweight championship
**For vacant UFC flyweight championship
Tune in to MMAWeekly.com for full UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega live results on Saturday, Dec. 8. The first bout is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT, and we’ll have live results and fight stats throughout the event.