Today, we’ll be breaking down UFC 240’s main and co-main event. The event is scheduled to take place at the Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta on July 27th.
The card is headlined by Featherweight champ Max Holloway defending his strap against Frankie Edgar. In the co-main event, we see Cris Cyborg making her return to the octagon after losing her belt to Amanda Nunes. She’ll be taking on undefeated prospect, Felicia Spencer.
We’ll take a look at each path to victory for each fighter, how they could win, and who I believe will walk away with their hand raised.
Main Event Preview: Holloway vs. Edgar
The main event of the evening is certainly an odd situation. Max Holloway is coming back down to 145 after losing an interim Lightweight title fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 in April. It was a great fight, but Dustin Poirier landed the bigger blows and overall seemed to overpower Holloway throughout the fight.
Frankie Edgar is receiving this title fight coming off a UD win over Cub Swanson. It’s an odd situation, considering Ortega knocked out Edgar in the first round of their bout, and Holloway just swept the floor with Ortega, but hey, style makes fights.
At first glance, this seems like a cruise for the current featherweight champ. Holloway is a -205 favorite compared to the +235 underdog in Edgar, according to Points Bet.
Personally, these lines seem a bit closer than I would have imagined. I think Holloway is a terrible matchup against Edgar. He possesses great striking, solid takedown defense, and an unbelievable pace.
I see Holloway coming out of the night as the victor, and here’s how.
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Path to Victory for Holloway
Frankie Edgar is a tough cookie to crack, that is well known. He has only ever been finished once inside his long, 29-fight career, which was recently to Ortega, as mentioned.
It didn’t seem like Edgar’s chin is gone; instead, he just got caught with a solid punch, which happens in this sport all the time.
With that said, though, I think the reach and height disadvantage will play out similarly. I think Holloway needs to control the center and push the pace, first finding his range with his lethal jab.
Once his range is established, it becomes Holloway’s world. He’s so creative and throws at an insane volume. He’s going to have to fend off some takedown attempts, which I think Holloway will do a decent job of.
Holloway has an 83% takedown defense, which is quite impressive. With that said though, I think Edgar scores at least 1 or 2 throughout the course of this fight.
Eventually, though, I think Holloway’s pace will be just too much for Edgar to handle and he’ll start to fade near the 3rd. I predict we see a late TKO finish from Holloway sometime in the late 3rd or 4th round.
Path to Victory for Edgar
I believe one reason these betting lines are as close as they are is due to Edgar’s veteran status. He has been in countless high-profile fights, and UFC title fights. It’s safe to say that he’s been here.
This fight isn’t unwinnable for Edgar, either. However, I think he has a much harder, longer path to victory than his counterpart.
For him to be successful, Edgar needs to disrupt Holloway’s groove early on, and not allow him to settle into his range. Leg kicks, jabs, and other techniques should do the trick for the veteran.
Also, Edgar’s going to have to get this fight to the ground at some point. Holloway stands at 5’11, while Edgar is just 5’6. Edgar has proved his striking ability in the past, but after we’ve seen Holloway dismantle former champ, Jose Aldo, twice…the man is certainly on a different level.
Edgar is not going to want to be predictable in his takedown approach though and should mix in some strikes to throw off the timing of Holloway, so he has a better chance to score it.
If Edgar is able to do this, I can see him battling Holloway to a UD win, or even pulling off a late submission around the 4th or 5th round.
Holloway vs. Edgar Pick
My pick is that Max Holloway will defeat Frankie Edgar via TKO in round 4.
Co-Main Event Preview: Cyborg vs. Spencer
In the co-main event, we see the highly anticipated return of Cris Cyborg, after suffering a devastating loss to Amanda Nunes back at UFC 232. She’ll be taking on a great prospect in Felicia Spencer, who is coming off a first-round submission over Megan Anderson at UFC FN 152.
It’ll be interesting to see how the long-time Featherweight queen in Cyborg bounces back since her first loss in 13 years. Although it was a vicious KO loss, I think now Cyborg finally has some serious motivation behind her.
Her opponent in Spencer seems like a tough outing for any woman at featherweight, especially considering her dominance over a very skilled Megan Anderson.
The current odds on this fight are currently not available. I personally have Cris Cyborg as a massive favorite in the fight myself. Although it was a bad loss in her last fight, she still carries absolute unreal power and has surprisingly good conditioning.
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Path to Victory for Cyborg
I see Cyborg winning this fight, and in dominant fashion. The best part of Spencer’s game is her ground game.
Getting Cyborg to the ground is so much easier said than done and is STRONG on the ground as well. I think Cyborg will need to keep her distance but try to settle into her range as quickly as she can.
Once she has found her range in this fight, I think it is just a matter of time until Cyborg drops a bomb on Spencer that she’ll be able to recover from. As I said before, this loss gives Cyborg a fuel for motivation, something I’m not sure if she was full of beforehand.
I think with her speed, power, and pace, Cyborg wraps this fight up in domination within the opening round. A KO/TKO is in the cards I think here for the former champ, and we’ll see her return to her former glory.
Path to Victory for Spencer
It is a long, long road to getting her hand raised, I think, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. For Spencer to win this fight, she’s going to have to get this to the ground, plain and simple. I don’t see a situation where she keeps this fight on the feet only and gets the win.
I think Spencer’s best bet is to come out strong and actively seek a takedown and mix it in with some strikes or faints here and there. The more she can disrupt the patterns of Cyborg, the better off she will be.
Every second she is standing up, Spencer will be taking the chance of getting caught by Cyborg, and I think she’ll know that.
As I said before, I think active takedown attempts is her true key to victory. On the ground, she can wear out Cyborg and diminish some of her power. Also, Spencer can seek submission attempts as well, which she is quite deadly at. Out of her 7 pro wins, 4 are by RNC, so I think this will be her go-to if she is presented the opportunity.
So, is it possible Spencer pulls off the massive upset? Not in my eyes, at least right now. The odds do not just seem to be in her favor. However, if she were to do it, I believe that’s how her victory would go down.
Cyborg vs. Spencer Pick
My pick is that Cris Cyborg will win via TKO/KO in round 1.