I’ve missed the last few UFC pay-per-view cards, but I will be trying to get my picks up for the rest of the PPV’s this year. The last main card I handicapped was actually the last one that Holloway headlined back at UFC 236. This week the UFC heads to Edmonton for the UFC 240 PPV headlined by Max Holloway vs Frankie Edgar for the featherweight belt.
Max Holloway vs Frankie Edgar
The only way I see Edgar having a shot in this fight is if he is able to take Holloway down consistently, and I don’t see that happening. Holloway was taken down a couple times in his dominant win over Brian Ortega, but Ortega has a unique style of threatening submissions that lead to takedowns, and Holloway was still able to scramble to his feet quickly. Before that fight, Holloway had gone 9 straight fights against high level opponents without being taken down.
On the feet I think Holloway will overwhelm Edgar with strikes at a rate that Frankie will not be able to keep up with. I see this one ending by a second or third round TKO.
Play: Holloway -410
Cyborg vs Felicia Spencer
Spencer looked good in her first fight in the UFC, dominating Megan Anderson. That said, I think it’s clear to most now that Anderson is a bit of a fraud, and not a high level UFC fighter. Cyborg is still one of the greatest of all-time even after her loss to Nunes and this is a massive step up for Spencer.
I do think Cyborg gets the job done in this fight, although I also think that Spencer is Cyborg’s second toughest test in her MMA career, next to only Amanda Nunes.
Cyborg has terrific grappling in addition to her striking prowess, so I don’t see Spencer getting a submission, and instead we should see Cyborg piece her up on the feet.
Play: Cyborg -650
Geoff Neal vs Niko Price
Niko Price is a knockout artist that uses a unique style to get power behind some awkward looking punches. He’s 6-2 in his UFC career and he’s only been the favorite in one of those fights (he was a pick’em a couple times). And here we are again with Price as a big underdog.
Yes, Geoff Neal has looked terrific going 3-0 to start his UFC career. He is very athletic and has clean technique with his striking. He has the higher ceiling, and you can argue he is the rightful favorite. But at the same time, Price has the ability to get finishes against top level competition. He’s finished all 6 of his UFC wins in the first two rounds and has finishes over strong opponents like Means, Brown and Jouban.
Price has been in the octagon with the better competition, he has a way of finding knockouts from anywhere, and he’s a huge underdog. I’ll take Price against almost anyone at this price.
Play: Price +260
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs Arman Tsarukyan
Tsarukyan is 0-1 in his UFC career, but he’s a decent sized favorite against Aubin-Mercier who is a 7-4 UFC veteran. Not to mention that Tsarukyan’s loss came to Islam Makhachev, who took him down 4 times. OAM will try to use a similar style to beat Tsarukyan and even though OAM isn’t on the same level as Makhachev, I have no reason to believe he won’t be able to get this fight to the mat.
OAM’s back to back losses have caused the belief in the Canadian to decrease. That said, you know what you’re getting with OAM and Tsarukyan has not proved he can beat someone at his level. Add in the fact the fight is in Canada and if this is a tight contest, the judges could lead towards OAM.
I’ll go with the fighter I know, who has a clear path to victory.
Play: OAM +170
Krzysztof Jotko vs Marc-Andre Barriault
I’m not bit on Jotko. He’s bounced back from his three fight losing streak with a win over Amedovski in April, but I still think he’s a very average UFC fighter.
The issue is we don’t know a lot about Barriault. He took a fight against Andrew Sanchez in May, and lost a 29-28 decision. I am actually quite high on Sanchez, so the fact he won a round off him was impressive. That said, he gave up two important takedowns that secured rounds for Sanchez. Barriault is going to have to be able to stuff takedowns against Jotko who is fairly solid getting the fight to the mat.
I think Barriault has the ability to get this win. He was a two division champion in TKO MMA, which is a top Canadian promotion. He won both of those titles via knockout and he’s still improving. Jotko was knocked out by both Tavares and Hall in his last two losses. I think Barriault will be able to catch him.
Play: Barriault +135