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UFC 240: Holloway vs Edgar Odds and Picks

The Octagon heads north of the border for the second time this year, this time to Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for UFC 240. In the main event, Max “Blessed” Holloway (-400) returns to the featherweight division to defend his belt against perennial title challenger and former lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (+300). I have a breakdown and a pick for each fight on the main card.

For more on the main event, check out my odds analysis article.

Scott Hastings’ 2019 Prediction Record To Date
Straight UpPicking FavoritesPicking Underdogs

Max Holloway vs Frankie Edgar

Holloway (-400) is returning to the featherweight division following his unanimous-decision loss for the interim lightweight belt against Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 in April. That defeat ended a 13-fight winning streak for “Blessed” and was his first since he lost via unanimous decision to Conor McGregor in 2013. During that streak, Holloway also had 10 finishes.

The Hawaii native has exceptional striking and top-level conditioning that allows him to maintain a pace that eventually makes his opponents crumble. Holloway has landed over 90 significant strikes in each of his last six bouts, including 307 against Brian Ortega in December. Additionally, his last four fights at featherweight have all finished by knockout, one of which was a doctor’s stoppage. Lastly, Blessed stuffs 83 percent of takedown attempts, forcing the fight to remain standing.

Edgar (+300) competes in his ninth championship fight and makes his third attempt at winning the featherweight strap. “The Answer” held the lightweight belt from 2010 until 2012 and then dropped down to featherweight following back-to-back losses to Benson Henderson. In the lower weight class, Edgar is 8-3 with his only defeats coming against former champ Jose Aldo and former challenger Brian Ortega.

The Answer is a composed fighter in the Octagon with confidence in his striking as well as his grappling. He always has strong footwork and head movement that makes his opponents miss 70 percent of their strike attempts, while having excellent timing on his takedowns, leading to 2.47 takedowns per 15 minutes. Edgar is a decision king with 17 of his 29 pro fights going to the judges’ scorecards – he won 12 of those 17 decisions – and he has just one knockout loss on his record.

This is a fight that many fans have been craving for a while as the pair were set to dance early last year but injuries got in the way. Holloway has a noticeable size advantage that should allow him to stay on the outside and pick Edgar apart. I think the path to victory for The Answer is to drag this fight to the floor, but Blessed has terrific wrestling defense and shooting in could result in a well-timed knee.

Prediction: Max Holloway (-400) via knockout

Cris Cyborg vs Felicia Spencer

Cyborg (-700) is back in action coming off her first loss since 2005 in her professional debut. The Brazil native bounced back from her initial defeat to go on to win 20 straight fights, 17 by knockout, until she suffered her first-ever knockout loss to current bantamweight and featherweight women’s champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 in December.

The 34-year-old is a very aggressive fighter who bullies her opponents from the outset of a fight and backs it up with crisp and powerful striking. Cyborg shows little to no respect for her opponent’s power, walking straight forward, getting in the pocket and exchanging hands. She has confidence that her power is better than anyone else’s and that is apparent in her record of 20-2 with 17 knockout victories.

Spencer (+450) looks to remain undefeated as she makes her second walk to the Octagon. “Feenom” made her UFC debut in May, earning a first-round submission victory over Megan Anderson. The Canadian earned her spot in the UFC after winning the vacant Invicta featherweight title in November 2018, pushing her record to 7-0.

Feenom is predominantly a grappler with terrific submission skills. In her debut against Anderson, she showed some early toughness by eating heavy shots as she searched for a way to close the distance against the lengthy Australian. Once she got her hands on Anderson, the fight hit the floor shortly after and Spencer didn’t need much time to lock in a rear-naked choke for her fourth submission victory.

It is going to be interesting to see how Cyborg rebounds from her first loss in over 10 years. Spencer looked a little lost on her feet in the short time that she was there against Anderson, showing no head movement and not keeping her back hand high to protect her chin. If she doesn’t show better striking defense, this bout may not last long.

Prediction: Cris Cyborg (-700) via knockout

Geoff Neal vs Niko Price

Neal (-335) is looking to collect his sixth win in a row and continue to climb the stacked welterweight division rankings. “Handz of Steel” earned a UFC contract with his first-round knockout victory over Chase Waldon in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July 2017. He stormed into the Octagon with consecutive finishes over Brian Camozzi and Frank Camacho and more recently earned a decision win over Belal Muhammad in January.

The Texas native has very fast strikes and is calm in the pocket. He doesn’t allow a lot of breathing room for his opponents, constantly throwing strikes and backing them against the cage. Neal does a great job throwing combinations when he’s in striking range, rarely limiting himself to one strike at a time. Additionally, he’s got good defense, keeping his hands high, and is quick to get out of the way of danger.

Price (+255) is looking to collect back-to-back wins as he enters the Octagon for the second time in 2019. “The Hybrid” needed less than a round to put Tim Means away in March for his third win in his last four fights. The lone defeat over that span was a quick 43-second knockout loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan at UFC 228 in September of last year.

Price is quite aggressive, setting traps by taking half a step backwards to force his opponent to follow him and then lunging forward on the entry, looking to meet them with a punch or short elbow. Quite often he throws his punches and doesn’t return his hand to his chin immediately, which has resulted in him eating heavy counter-strikes, but he has just one knockout loss on his record.

The two fighters present somewhat contrasting striking styles. Price tends to constantly be pestering his opponents by throwing not overly powerful kicks and jabs, making a sloppy bout while looking for his foes to make a mistake that he can capitalize on. Conversely, Neal is a little more patient in his approach, dissecting his opponents’ moves and tendencies before going on a full-out attack. Price’s defense is not on the level of Neal’s and I believe that will be his demise.

Prediction: Geoff Neal (-335) via knockout

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs Arman Tsarukyan

Aubin-Mercier (+165) is aiming to put an end to his first-ever losing slide and find his first victory since April of last year. “The Canadian Gangster” had been on a roll of four straight wins from 2016 to 2018 but enters this bout having lost back-to-back fights to Alexander Hernandez and Gilbert Burns, both by unanimous decision.

The 30-year-old likes to be the aggressor and has shown improvements in his striking game over his UFC career. That being said, he doesn’t always have his hands in a good defensive position and he really doesn’t like getting hit, as he typically runs away from an exchange rather than getting in one. He was dropped several times in his last fight with Gilbert Burns. The Canadian does his best work on the floor as he averages 2.63 takedowns per 15 minutes and has terrific top control.

Tsarukyan (-205) makes his second walk to the Octagon after making his debut in April. The Russia native ended up on the losing end of a unanimous decision to Islam Makhachev in his debut, his first defeat since his second pro fight in 2015. Tsarukyan rebounded from that initial loss to go on to win 12 straight fights, nine of which were finishes.

The Russian likes to stay on the outside in kicking range and that’s typically his offensive approach, using long high kicks to straighten his opponents up so he has easier access to shoot for a single leg takedown. Additionally, he has very good timing for when his opponent steps forward in making a level change to try to get a takedown. On the floor he is very active, whether he’s on top or on the bottom, always looking for a submission. He has five to his name.

These are two strong grapplers with different striking skills. Aubin-Mercier had a beautiful first-round knockout victory over Evan Dunham in April of last year and I feel that he is trying to stick to his striking more than relying on his strong grappling. However, he may have an edge on his feet over Tsarukyan. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Russian has quick level changes and sneaky kicks that, if they land, can leave his foes in a bad way.

Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier (+165) via decision

Marc-Andre Barriault vs Krzysztof Jotko

Barriault (+140) gets his second crack at the UFC after making his debut in early May. “Power Bar” had been a two-division champion in TKO and was on an eight-fight winning streak prior to getting the call from the UFC. In his debut, he put up a valiant effort against Andrew Sanchez but ultimately fell by unanimous decision, his first loss since a split-decision defeat in 2015.

The Canadian is an imposing middleweight, taking the center of the Octagon and slowly backing his opponent down. He has solid conditioning that allows him to continue stalking forward for the duration of the bout. However, he tends to really close the distance before throwing a punch and often throws just one at a time. But when he makes contact, his opponents understand the power.

Jotko (-170) is hoping he has found the light at the end of the tunnel following a recent rough patch in the Octagon. The Poland native was on quite the tear from 2014 to 2016, winning five straight fights, but he promptly went on a three-fight losing skid when he started fighting some of the higher-ranked opponents. However, he returned to the win column in April with a decisive decision victory over Alen Amedovski.

Jotko is very active on his feet, constantly bouncing around throwing feints and long kicks. He likes to mostly stay on the outside and circle the cage, but when he finds an opportunity to shoot for a takedown, he has explosive power and averages 1.44 takedowns per 15 minutes. As he bounces around so often and throws long kicks, he is hard to hit, absorbing just 1.73 strikes per minute. However, most of the times he is hit, the strikes are flush and powerful.

Barriault looked very stiff and slow in his UFC debut. It’s hard to determine whether it was jitters from being in the Octagon for the first time or if he’s always a slow starter. When he loosened up in the second round, he found success putting together combinations and landing heavy shots. That being said, Jotko is very good at dancing out of the way of danger and maintaining distance, while picking up points by throwing kicks from afar.

Prediction: Krzysztof Jotko (-170) via decision

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC 240: Holloway vs Edgar:

UFC 240: Holloway vs Edgar
  • Max Holloway -400
  • Frankie Edgar +300
Odds as of July 24 at Bovada
  • Cris Cyborg -700
  • Felicia Spencer +450
  • Geoff Neal -335
  • Niko Price +255
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier +175
  • Arman Tsarukyan -205
  • Marc-Andre Barriault +140
  • Krzysztof Jotko -170
  • Alexis Davis +200
  • Viviane Araujo -260
  • Hakeem Dawodu -400
  • Yoshinori Horie +300
  • Gavin Tucker -135
  • Seungwoo Choi +105
  • Alexandre Pantoja  -130
  • Deiveson Figueiredo EVEN
  • Gillian Robertson -135
  • Sarah Frota +105
  • Erik Koch -115
  • Kyle Stewart -115
  • Tanner Boser -175
  • Giacomo Lemos +145