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UFC 240: Holloway vs. Edgar - Predictions and Picks

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Timeless

Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar will finally clash at UFC 240
Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar will finally clash at UFC 240

The UFC returns to Canada for this week’s pay-per-view offering, as UFC 240: Holloway vs. Edgar is coming live from Edmonton, Alberta. The last time the UFC headed to Edmonton was for a pretty poor offering in the form of September 2017’s UFC 215, so hopefully this weekend’s show fares better than that one.

On paper at least, it isn’t filled with huge name value, but the card does look solid, from the main event – a long-awaited UFC Featherweight title clash between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar – down to a crazy-sounding fight between Welterweight prospects Niko Price and Geoff Neal.

Here are the predicted outcomes for UFC 240: Holloway vs. Edgar.

#1 Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar

Can Max Holloway
Can Max Holloway's aggressive style break down Frankie Edgar?

This fight has been a long time coming; initially booked for UFC 218 back in December 2017, the fight was scrapped then due to an injury to Edgar, and an attempt at re-booking failed last March. That time, Holloway withdrew and Edgar ended up facing late replacement Brian Ortega – and was subsequently knocked out.

I figured that loss would likely knock Edgar out of title contention too – despite ‘The Answer’ bouncing back a month later with a workmanlike win over Cub Swanson – but over a year later, here we are.

The argument would probably be that Holloway doesn’t have a clear-cut top contender right now, but I’m not sure that’s true either given the existence of Alexander Volkanovski. Still, at least we should finally get to see Holloway and Edgar clash.

It should actually be an interesting fight, too. Ignoring his move to 155lbs earlier this year, Holloway has looked like one of the most unstoppable fighters in the entire sport for a long time now; after his 2013 loss to Conor McGregor the Hawaiian put together a ridiculous 13-fight win streak, including big victories over Ortega, Jose Aldo (twice), Anthony Pettis and Jeremy Stephens.

Notably missing off his ledger, though? A victory over a really high-level wrestle-boxer. Ricardo Lamas almost fits the bill but I wouldn’t class him as good as the likes of Chad Mendes, or the king of that style – Edgar of course. So the question here is how Holloway will handle the movement, point-fighting striking style and somewhat stifling grappling style that Edgar brings.

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I actually think he’ll have fewer issues than we might expect. Firstly, ‘Blessed’ is a genuinely phenomenal striker. He’s comfortable fighting from the counter or when moving forward, and he puts together combinations arguably better than any other fighter in the division. He’s also highly battle-tested – his chin has never been cracked despite taking some ridiculous shots from heavy hitters over the past couple of years.

What’s more, he’s a huge 145lber with a massive range; Holloway stands at 5’11” with a 69” reach, compared to Edgar’s 5’6” and 68” reach. Sure, there’s only an inch difference, but due to Holloway’s lanky frame and penchant for throwing kicks and long punches, it’ll probably feel a lot more come fight time.

That means that Edgar’s going to need to get inside to do some damage, and I find it hard to imagine him getting inside and out without taking some nastier shots than he’s capable of dishing out.

Edgar could look for takedowns, of course, but Holloway’s takedown defense has looked incredible recently, particularly in his fight with Ortega, and even on the ground he’s no slouch, as he’s developed a venomous submission game based around using his long arms to catch chokes, as he did against the likes of Cub Swanson and Andre Fili.

Throw in the fact that Holloway has become adept at pushing a horrific pace for his opponents to match – something that Edgar traditionally was able to do in order to break a lot of his foes – and this just looks like a horrible fight for ‘The Answer’. He might be too durable for Holloway to finish, but unless Max has serious issues from a big weight cut then I just can’t see Edgar winning.

The Pick: Holloway via unanimous decision

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