UFC 240 Preview
By Anuj Datta
UFC 240 emanates from Edmonton, Canada where adopted son Max Holloway will defend his featherweight crown against Frankie Edgar in the main event.
The co-main also features a featherweight bout in the women’s division, where former champ Cris Cyborg will take on the undefeated ‘Feenom’ Felicia Spencer.
Max Holloway vs Frankie Edgar has been a fight fans have wanted to see for a long time, and would have happened previously if it hadn’t been for injuries to both competitors.
”Blessed” is returning to the octagon after his 13-fight win streak was snapped in April, in defeat to Dustin Poirier. In his bid to be a double champion, he looked far less effective at lightweight than how we’ve seen him perform at 145lbs.
For Edgar, it is the opportunity he has envisioned since dropping down to featherweight. The former lightweight champ was on the cusp of a title shot before losing to Brian Ortega in a fight he didn’t need to take.
His long-time service to the company hasn’t gone unappreciated and he gets his chance on Saturday night.
For Cyborg, it is also going to be interesting to see how she bounces back after her first loss in 13 years. The devastating knockout she suffered at the hands of Amanda Nunes has taken away the aura of invincibility she once had, and Spencer will be looking to capitalise now.
The ex-Invicta queen looked impressive in her last outing when she finished Megan Anderson, and has her eyes set on being a multiple organisation world champion.
Geoff Neal and Niko Price has flown under the radar but may well end up being fight of the night. Both fighters have an aggressive fan favourite style and will be hoping to impress in an already stacked welterweight division.
Arman Tsarukyan has been given another fight after he showed great heart in his debut vs Islam Makachev, taking the heavy favourite the distance in Russia. He earned a fight of the night bonus and gained respect from a pro Makachev crowd.
His opponent is another home country fighter – Olivier Aubin Mercier. The ”Canadian Gangster” is a product of Tristar Gym and has flourished under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi. But is currently on a two-fight skid and knows a victory is imperative for his longevity in the UFC.
To kickstart the main card, Krzysztof Jotko faces Marc Andre Barriault. Jotko has faced some of the best the middleweight division has to offer, and even in defeat has given a good account of himself. Barriault hasn’t shone as of yet but with 8 KO victories out of 11 and having never been finished, the “Power Bar” is a tough customer and a constant threat.
Cyborg and Spencer are effectively battling for the number one contenders spot. With this being the last fight on her contract, perhaps the outcome will determine whether or not Cyborg stays.
The odds are stacked against Spencer who is unwavering in her stance and is supremely confident of victory. To call out the dominant former champ who many have ducked is brave indeed.
Holloway and Edgar have over 40 combined wins, both men are accustomed to having their hand raised. With the championship on the line, can Edgar join elite company and become a two-division champ or will Holloway continue to run through the featherweight’s elite?