Weekend Warrior: UFC 240 Holds Court
Photo: Logan Riely / Stringer (Getty Images)
Max Holloway has once again been charged with defending the Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight throne against an all-time great. The 27-year-old Hawaiian will put his undisputed 145-pound title on the line against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in the UFC 240 headliner on Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The two men were scheduled to face one another twice previously, only to have injuries conspire against them. Meanwhile, onetime women’s featherweight titleholder Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino attempts to rebound from her first defeat in more than a decade when she collides with the unbeaten Felica Spencer in the three-round co-main event.
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Max Holloway punches Dustin Poirier. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)
Holloway last competed at UFC 236 in Atlanta, where he moved up to 155 pounds and lost a five-round unanimous decision to Dustin Poirier in a failed bid to capture the interim lightweight crown on April 13. The setback was his first since August 2013 and closed the book on his remarkable run of 13 consecutive victories. Holloway’s resume speaks for itself, as he has turned away a long line of high-profile opponents, from Jose Aldo (twice), Brian Ortega and Anthony Pettis to Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson. He operates out of the Gracie Technics camp in his native Hawaii.
Edgar, 37, likely finds himself on the backside of his hall of fame-worthy career. He has not fought since he cruised to a unanimous decision over the aforementioned Swanson in their UFC Fight Night 128 rematch on April 21, 2018. Still, Edgar has rattled off eight wins across his past 10 appearances and serves as a worthy challenger based on experience and reputation alone. The Toms River, New Jersey, native has been finished only once in 30 professional bouts.
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Frankie Edgar punches Cub Swanson. Photo: Patrick Smith/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)
UFC 240 “Holloway vs. Edgar”—which streams live to ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT—will also feature a welterweight confrontation pairing Geoff Neal with Niko Price, a lightweight tilt pitting Olivier Aubin-Mercier against Arman Tsarukyan and a middleweight clash matching Marc-Andre Barriault with Krzysztof Jotko. ESPN 2 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) and UFC Fight Pass (6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT) will share coverage of the seven-fight undercard.
Outside the auspices of the UFC, the Legacy Fighting Alliance organization holds sway over the regional mixed martial arts scene with LFA 72 on Friday at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Former King of the Cage middleweight champion Daniel Madrid will put his modest two-fight winning streak on the line against Bellator MMA alum Chris Harris in the featured attraction. LFA 52 “Madrid vs. Harris” airs live on AXS-TV at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.