How do you follow up the best pay-per-view card of the year? This Saturday’s UFC 240 in Edmonton takes place less than a month after a card that authored one memorable knockout after another, including the already iconic Jorge Masvidal MGM Grand Buffet special.
Thankfully, featherweight champion Max Holloway is headlining this weekend’s event. When it comes to non-stop violence, few men deliver as consistently as “Blessed”. Even better, standing across from him will be none other than Frankie Edgar, former lightweight champion and author of some of the most memorable fights in the promotion’s history.
A few more storylines to take note of in the headliner: Holloway is coming off a failed attempt to become a double champ, and the loss to Dustin Poirier was also his first in 13 fights. Edgar was denied a chance to seize the featherweight belt by Jose Aldo, and it’s been a long, hard road back. At 37, this could very well be his last chance to ever become a UFC champion again.
This is pretty much a two-fight card, and the other one that deserves your undivided attention is the co-main between Cris Cyborg and Felicia Spencer. Think Holloway’s 13-fight win streak was impressive? Cyborg hadn’t lost in 20 straight before she got flatlined in her last outing, courtesy of Amanda Nunes. It was the most dominant run in WMMA history, as Cyborg barely faced a second of adversity as she steamrolled every fighter put in front of her.
What does Cyborg look like after her first loss in nearly 15 years? And Felicia Spencer is no scrub: she’s 7-0 and a former Invicta FC champion. Because there aren’t any other featherweights to speak of, it’s safe to say that the winner of this matchup gets Nunes – should the double champ decide to defend the strap.
Let’s take a look at the UFC odds at the online sportsbooks and break down your best betting options. We’re picking the best values from all the major online sportsbooks, just to make sure you’re getting the best prices. We’re partial to BookMaker.eu, mostly because we like their live UFC betting to bet between rounds.
Frankie Edgar vs Max Holloway (Featherweight)
Fight odds: Frankie Edgar +336 (Sportbet) vs. Max Holloway -385 (BookMaker)
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +155
Questioning The Answer
Online UFC sportsbooks opened with Holloway as a huge favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. While Edgar is probably the best pure wrestler that the Hawaiian has ever faced, he’ll be at a serious size disadvantage here. The New Jersey native isn’t a big featherweight to begin with (he probably could compete at 135), and Holloway boasts takedown defense north of 80%. Even if Edgar perfectly times a double-leg, it’s doubtful he can keep Holloway on the mat.
So this becomes a sparring match, and in that scenario Holloway is an easy pick. He’s younger, taller, longer and has one of the best significant striking rates on the roster – the guy lands nearly seven strikes a minute. Edgar’s an awesome technical boxer with amazing footwork, but he’s about to face an avalanche of oncoming kicks and punches.
Our pick: Parlay Holloway to win at -385
Edgar really doesn’t have any viable paths to victory, so you should feel safe taking him as a parlay booster.
Hmmmm: Holloway inside the distance
Edgar’s an awesome fighter and tough as nails, but he has a tendency to get absolutely clocked in the standup. With the volume that Holloway throws, a few howitzers are gonna get through and the champ is gonna just keep piling it on from there. Need some stats? Holloway has finished his last four featherweight opponents by TKO.
Cris Cyborg vs Felicia Spencer (Women’s Featherweight)
Fight odds: Cris Cyborg -578 vs. Felicia Spencer +505
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +425 / -675
Business as Usual
This is a simple breakdown. Cyborg’s a Muay Thai serial killer who beats opponents into submission. Spencer is a grinder who specializes in finding submissions. If it stays standing, Cyborg obliterates the striking-challenged Spencer. If it goes to the mat, than Spencer’s chances at getting her hand raised goes up considerably.
Good luck getting Cyborg to the mat though – she’s a massive featherweight who has bulled other woman her entire career. Spencer looked fine bringing down Pam Sorenson and Megan Anderson, but neither is close to the powerful athlete that the Brazilian is. Don’t forget that even if she does get this to the mat, Cyborg is a BJJ black belt.
Our pick: Cyborg to win by TKO
Maybe Cyborg’s confidence is shattered. Maybe at 33 she’ll suddenly lose her power. Maybe Cyborg pulls a Ngannou vs. Lewis and develops a serious case of the yips. Betting on any of these is not smart. You’ve got to fight fire with fire to beat Cyborg, and Spencer just doesn’t have enough tools to do so.
Check out the latest UFC 240 betting odds.