UFC 240: Holloway vs. Edgar Preview

A preview of Saturday’s UFC 240 card, set to take place in Edmonton, Canada.

Updated: July 25, 2019 • 1:05 PM ET

Max Holloway is looking to continue his reign as UFC featherweight champion.

The UFC featherweight title will be on the line this Saturday in Edmonton, Canada, as champion Max Holloway will defend the belt against No. 4 Frankie Edgar at Rogers Place. In the co-main event, former women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will battle UFC newcomer Felicia Spencer.

Holloway is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title in April, a back-and-forth battle that will surely go down as one of the best fights of 2019. Holloway has successfully defended the featherweight title twice, with his last defense being a TKO doctor’s stoppage of Brian Ortega at UFC 231 in December.

After winning the undisputed title with a third-round TKO of Jose Aldo at UFC 212 in June 2017, Holloway’s first title defense was supposed to be against Edgar at UFC 218 in December 2017. An injury, however, forced Edgar to withdraw from the fight, and Aldo replaced him. After defeating Aldo a second straight time, the Hawaiian was scheduled to fight Edgar again at UFC 222 in March 2018. This time, though, an injury forced Holloway to withdraw from the fight.

Hopefully, the third time will be the charm and the two will finally meet on Saturday.

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Holloway is arguably the greatest featherweight in UFC history with many impressive victories during his UFC career. Including the two victories over Aldo and the win over Ortega, Holloway has had his hand raised against Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson, Andre Fili and Leonard Garcia. The 27-year-old’s two victories over Aldo are the most impressive marks on his resume, as many once considered the Brazilian legend the greatest featherweight of all time.

Holloway believes he has learned from his loss to Poirier in April.

“Losing is losing,” Holloway recently said via KHON2 News. “It’s only a loss if you haven’t learned from it. I learned from it.

“I don’t take no L’s. The only L’s I’m taking is learning curves, and we got a learning curve in April. It is what it is, I found out about myself. Everything’s like shoots and ladders. Sometimes you got to slide down to climb up a bigger ladder, and that’s what we did.”

Holloway continued, “A true champion is not put in place because ‘oh he can do this this many times. Let’s see if you’re a true champion. In my eyes, a true champion is someone who can get knocked down and get back up and bounce back. And you guys are about to see that July 27th.”

Edgar is coming off a unanimous decision win over Cub Swanson in April, which was a great rebound after being knocked out for the first time in his career by Ortega at UFC 222. Edgar is 3-2 in his last five fights and expects a motivated champion on Saturday.

“Everyone is different, everyone handles losses differently,” Edgar said via BJPENN.com. “He may be second-guessing himself, or he could be super motivated. I’m expecting to see a motivated guy.

“It was a loss, but it was a fantastic fight and he put on a tremendous performance. He won a couple of those rounds, too. A few things go differently in that fight and he gets his hand raised.”

Edgar, a former UFC lightweight champion, believes his wrestling heavy style will pose problems for Holloway.

“We will see,” Edgar said. “He has fought some decent wrestlers in the past, but I think I will be the best wrestler he has fought. It is something that I always utilize in my fights, and he is preparing for it a bunch. I know he is expecting me to look for those takedowns.”

Win or lose on Saturday, Edgar will likely land in the UFC Hall of Fame one day. He has victories over Yair Rodriguez, Jeremy Stephens, Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber, Swanson (twice), B.J. Penn (thrice), Charles Oliveira, Gray Maynard and Sean Sherk.

The 37-year-old is also ready to prove he’s still a championship level fighter.

“I’m going to in there and try to finish him that is for sure,” Edgar said. “He is a durable guy, so we will see. Whether it is a five-round fight or put him away, the main goal is a victory.

“I have to make Max second guess himself. I have to make him feel that he needs some urgency. Just fight my fight. I mix it up better than most people in this sport and that is key to his victory.”


Co-main event

Saturday’s co-main event will be a women’s featherweight fight between Cris Cyborg and Felicia Spencer.

Cyborg will attempt to rebound from a vicious knockout loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 in December, during which she lost the featherweight title. The loss was only the second of her career and first in 13 years.

Previously a Strikeforce and Invicta featherweight champion, Cyborg successfully defended the UFC belt twice against Holly Holm and Yana Kunitskaya. She has key victories over Tonya Evinger, Lina Lansberg, Leslie Smith and Gina Carano.

Cyborg is entering the last fight on her UFC contract and with a convincing win, she could force the UFC to negotiate a new deal to book a rematch with Nunes, which could be a big money fight for the promotion.

Spencer is still relatively unknown to non-diehard MMA fans, but she’s undefeated in seven professional fights. She’s coming off an impressive UFC debut in May, defeating Megan Anderson by first-round submission.

Spencer is the former Invicta champion, but never defended the title after deciding to make the move to the UFC. The 28-year-old Canadian is also a sixth-grade Algebra teacher, who will face the biggest challenge of her short career on Saturday.


The rest of the main card on ESPN+

Welterweight bout - Geoff Neal vs. Niko Price

Lightweight bout - Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Arman Tsarukyan

Middleweight bout - Marc-André Barriault vs. Krzysztof Jotko


ESPN Prelims

Women's flyweight bout - No. 7 Alexis Davis vs. No. 15 Viviane Araújo

Featherweight bout - Hakeem Dawodu vs. Yoshinori Horie

Featherweight bout - Gavin Tucker vs. Seungwoo Choi

Flyweight bout - No. 3 Alexandre Pantoja vs. No. 4 Deiveson Figueiredo


UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims

Women's flyweight bout - Gillian Robertson vs. Sarah Frota

Welterweight bout - Erik Koch vs. Kyle Stewart

Heavyweight bout - Tanner Boser vs. Giacomo Lemos

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