UFC 240 Live: Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 240 on Saturday night in Edmonton, Alberta. The main card is on pay-per-view, beginning at 10 p.m. ET and available exclusively through ESPN+. The prelims are on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m., with early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7.
Holloway (20-4) is coming off a loss but it came at lightweight, in a fight with Dustin Poirier for the interim title in April. Edgar (23-6-1) has not fought since a decision win over Cub Swanson in April 2018.
The stakes are also high for Cris Cyborg in the co-headliner. How will she rebound from just the second loss of her career, a stunning first-round KO at the hands of Amanda Nunes that cost her the featherweight championship? As usual, she’s a heavy favorite, but for the first time in ages there is an aura of vulnerability around the longtime titleholder, especially considering the rapid rise of her opponent, undefeated Felicia Spencer.
In other main card action, Geoff Neal faces Niko Price in what is nearly guaranteed to be a welterweight thriller, Olivier Aubin-Mercier looks to stop a two-fight skid when he meets blue chip lightweight prospect Arman Tsarukyan, and Canadian Marc-Andre Barriault fights veteran Krzysztof Jotko in a middleweight bout.Make no mistake, it’s going to take the best fight of Edgar’s career to pull off the upset here, and even that might not be enough. Take the speed he showed in his battles with B.J. Penn, the in-and-out movement he used to frustrate heavy hitters like Jeremy Stephens and Sean Sherk, the wrestling he used to dominate Yair Rodriguez, and the killer instinct he showed against Chad Mendes and Gray Maynard and still that might not be enough.
There’s no simple solution for Holloway at 145 pounds, given the size and reach advantage he has over most of his opponents and more importantly, the skill with which he employs these physical gifts. Getting past Holloway’s jab will be an absolute nightmare for Edgar, who may concede a round or two figuring Holloway out. Any fighter who thinks they can gut it out during Holloway’s early offense will find themselves quickly tiring and becoming easy pickings for the champion in the later rounds.
Edgar is smarter than that and Holloway has yet to face an opponent with his mixture of technique and resilience (Aldo had the technique, but not the ability to come back once Holloway poured on the pressure in either of their matchups; Ortega had the comeback potential, but couldn’t match Holloway’s volume). There are few fighters who can mix up their wrestling and striking like Edgar and if he can land a few timely takedowns, it will change the whole complexion of the fight.
When he steps into the cage to face Frankie Edgar in the UFC 240 main event, “Blessed” will be just the second UFC fighter to enter a title defense coming off of a loss (the other was fellow Hawaiian B.J. Penn who fought and beat Kenny Florian at UFC 101 seven months after losing a welterweight title fight to Georges St-Pierre). Holloway’s last fight saw him lose a unanimous decision to Dustin Poirier with an interim title on the line this past April, a result that snapped a stretch of 13 straight wins for the champ.
On the other side, Edgar is getting his third shot at winning featherweight gold, a feat that would make him just the eighth fighter to capture titles in two UFC divisions. It’s been seven years since Edgar reigned as UFC lightweight champion and claiming a title that has eluded him so many times in the past could propel him up the all-time pound-for-pound rankings.
A lot of ifs will have to go Edgar’s way, but the timing could be just right for him. Maybe his team saw something in the 25 minutes that Holloway spent in a losing effort against Poirier. Maybe Holloway’s weight cuts are starting to catch up to him. Maybe Edgar has just the right combination of veteran savvy, endurance, and precision boxing to defuse Holloway.