It’s a champion’s third defense against a contender’s third challenge at UFC 240 this Saturday (July 27, 2019) as Max Holloway returns to Featherweight to face the immortal Frankie Edgar inside Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Pay-per-view (PPV) buyers will also get to see the return of Cris Cyborg against undefeated contender Felicia Spencer and what’s sure to be a downright insane slugfest between Welterweight knockout artists Geoff Neal and Niko Price.
It’s a card that looks fit to bolster some highlight reels. Let’s see if we can’t bolster some wallets, too.
What Went Wrong at UFC on ESPN 4?
I banked on Roxanne Modafferi’s wrestling and it didn’t pay off. Jennifer Maia — who badly missed weight — was able to manhandle “The Happy Warrior” in the clinch and totally nullify Modafferi’s genuinely solid grappling. Luckily, Walt Harris and Ray Borg were there to pick up the slack, though I’ll admit to some serious worrying after seeing Borg struggle in the first round. It wasn’t the biggest haul, but progress is progress.
UFC 240 Odds For The Undercard:
Viviane Araujo (-250) vs. Alexis Davis (+210)
Hakeem Dawodu (-400) vs. Yoshinori Horie (+325)
Gavin Tucker (-125) vs. Seung Woo Choi (+105)
Alexandre Pantoja (-125) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (+105)
Gillian Robertson (-130) vs. Sarah Frota (+110)
Kyle Stewart (-115) vs. Erik Koch (-105)
Tanner Boser (-170) vs. Giacomo Lemos (+150)
Thoughts: I’m feeling like having a finger in everybody’s pie this week. Deiveson Figueiredo, Gillian Robertson, and Tanner Boser, come right up.
Thus far, only Jussier Formiga has been able to keep Figueiredo on the mat, and there are very, very few fighters in the division with that level of top and back control. Pantoja, though skilled in all areas, likely isn’t among them, meaning he’s in for a striking battle. Figueiredo just hits too damn hard for Pantoja to win one of those, so put a bit on the “God of War” to get back in the win column.
Sarah Frota gets away with a lot thanks to her sheer hugeness, but now that she’s in a reasonable weight class, her myriad flaws stand out. She’s a plodding, one-note puncher on the feet wotj poor cardio and shaky wrestling; she absolutely dwarfed Livinha Souza last time and still surrendered four takedowns. Robertson is a strong enough wrestler to exploit this mercilessly and has enough jiu-jitsu chops to survive Frota’s bottom game.
Tanner Boser is terrible. Giacomo Lemos was signed because he was probably the only Heavyweight the UFC could find who’s even worse. Just based on his last two performances, I’d rate Lemos as arguably the weakest 265er on the roster now that Dmitri Smolyakov got the boot again. The only concern is Boser’s abysmal volume resulting in him losing a robbery, but seeing as he’s the hometown favorite, the possibility seems sufficiently remote.
UFC 240 Odds For The Main Card:
Max Holloway (-400) vs. Frankie Edgar (+325)
Cristiane Justino (-600) vs. Felicia Spencer (+450)
Geoff Neal (-340) vs. Niko Price (+280)
Arman Tsarukyan (-200) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (+170)
Krzysztof Jotko (-160) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (+140)
Thoughts: There’s really no reason not to just staple Cris Cyborg onto all of your parlays. Amanda Nunes proved she was mortal, sure, but “The Lioness” is an inhuman puncher and Spencer is an undersized grappler who really doesn’t like getting pressured. From a stylistic point of view, this would be one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport if Spencer somehow pulled it off. She won’t.
I like the looks of Arman Tsarukyan as well. Despite Olivier Aubin-Mercier’s judo background, he gave up seven combined takedowns to Alexander Hernandez and Gilbert Burns. Tsarukyan is a similarly potent wrestler as those two and is downright relentless to boot; unless Aubin-Mercier uncorks the knee he used to fell Evan Dunham, which I haven’t seen him do before or since, Tsarukyan’s going to grind him into the dirt.
I’ve also got major faith in Max Holloway despite the loss to Dustin Poirier. His issue against “The Diamond” was that he couldn’t hurt or overpower his larger foe, something he won’t have to worry about against the shorter and smaller Edgar. Further, the Hawaiian still boasts impeccable takedown defense and an extremely versatile style with which to defuse Edgar’s high-volume offense.
UFC 240 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Cris Cyborg and Deiveson Figueiredo: Bet $30 to make $41.70
- Parlay — Cris Cyborg and Gillian Robertson: Bet $35 to make $31.70
- Parlay — Cris Cyborg and Tanner Boser: Bet $40 to make $34.18
- Parlay — Cris Cyborg and Arman Tsarukyan: Bet $70 to make $52.63
- Parlay — Max Holloway and Arman Tsarukyan: Bet $50 to make $43.85
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 240 fight card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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