UFC 240 Recap
By Matt Wise
Max Holloway successfully defended his featherweight belt against UFC veteran Frankie Edgar with a decision victory.
Edgar believed his best chance of claiming the title was to take Holloway to the ground. However, the dominant champion shrugged aside 14 from 15 of the challenger’s takedown attempts, and looked largely in control on the feet.
The most success Edgar had in the striking exchanges was leg kicks, but they dried up in the latter rounds.
As the taller man, Holloway increasingly leaned on his jab, and it set Edgar off his rhythm and gave the champion openings to land uppercuts, which he found great success with.
While not a stellar performance from the 145 lbs king, he fought off an experienced and courageous challenger in Edgar.
The judges scored the contest 50-45, 50-45 and 48-47 in Holloway’s favour. With this, he moved to 17 UFC wins and became the youngest ever fighter to reach this figure.
Cris Cyborg needed a decision to overcome a stubborn Felicia Spencer in the co-main event.
Spencer landed the first significant blow of the fight, opening up a nasty-looking cut on her opponent’s forehead with an elbow. Cyborg returned, though, with her own flurry and Spencer immediately initiated the clinch.
Cyborg looked a frustrated figure as the fight grew on, as Spencer took some of her hardest shots, and kept coming back. However, Spencer was unable to close distance and Cyborg largely had her own way on the feet.
Cyborg reached the judges scorecards for only the second time in her career, taking the unanimous 30-27 victory.
Geoff Neal beat Niko Price via TKO to move to 4-0 in the UFC.
Neither fighter refrained from throwing hands throughout, but it was a clash of heads which became the first major talking point. It appeared to cause a double knockdown, but Neal looked the most hurt of the two.
Neal returned for round two and quickly moved into the ascendency. He stunned his opponent against the cage, and looked even more threatening on the ground. Even in full guard, Niko Price was unable to defend Neal’s ground and pound, and referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to put an end to the contest.
Arman Tsarukyan defeated Olivier Aubin-Mercier in a grappling-heavy affair to secure his first UFC win.
Tsarukyan took a number of well timed knees upon his takedown attempts, and one of which took his legs away. The 22-year-old showed experience beyond his years with his ability to turn adversity into success of his own on the ground.
Canada’s own Aubin-Mercier arguably got the better of the exchanges on the feet, but Tsarukyan looked dominant on the ground; particularly in round three.
The decision went the way of Tsarukyan, with each judge scoring the contest 29-28.
Krzysztof Jotko outstruck Marc-Andre Barriault to win via split decision.
French-Canadian Barriault looked to take the fight to the mat, and landed three takedowns in total. However, it was the jab of Jotko which made the difference, in round two particularly.
It was likely a round a piece heading into round three, and it looked to be anyone’s fight as the decision loomed. Poland’s Jotko secured a takedown in the last 10 seconds which could have turned the judges’ heads.
Earlier in the card:
Viviane Araujo def. Alexis Davis via unanimous decision
Hakeem Dawodu def. Yoshinori Horie via third round TKO
Gavin Tucker def. Seung Woo Choi via third round submission
Deiveson Figueiredo def. Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision (FOTN)
Gillian Robertson def. Sarah Frota via second round TKO
Erik Koch def. Kyle Stewart via unanimous decision