Two matches, four featherweight fighters — In the end, only two can leave the Rogers Place stadium with the featherweight championship. It will be one man between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar and one woman between Cris Cyborg and Felicia Spencer.
Learn more about the matches and fighters below.
Men’s Featherweight Championship: Holloway vs. Edgar
For Holloway and Edgar, this match has been long overdue. The pair has been scheduled to go up against each other in the octagon twice prior, first during UFC 218 and then at UFC 222. However, due to the fighters recovering from their respective injuries, the matches were rescheduled. This time, UFC 240 will definitely see reigning champion Holloway defend his title against former lightweight titleholder, Edgar.
Currently sixth in the official UFC pound-for-pound rankings, Hawaiian born Holloway is the reigning featherweight champion.
Active since 2012, Holloway has amassed a following — aptly called the “Cult of Max” — due to his bold, enigmatic, and lethal approach both inside and outside the octagon.
Perhaps what drew the crowd’s attention to Holloway was when he was called on to replace an injured Tony Ferguson to fight for the UFC lightweight championship in April 2018. Despite not being in training at the time and having only having six days to prepare, Holloway took on the challenge. The match unfortunately did not push through.
This fearless and unflinching quality takes Holloway to a different level inside the ring. In UFC 231, he defended his featherweight title against Brian Ortega in Toronto, Canada where his well-paced aggression helped him break three records. First, for the most significant strikes in one fight at 290, the most landed significant strikes in a round at 134, and lastly, the record for the most victories in the UFC featherweight division at 15 wins.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar is currently #4 in the official UFC featherweight rankings. The former wrestler is known to have remarkable victories over legendary ex-world champions such as Hermes França, Sean Sherk, Urijah Faber, and thrice against B.J Penn.
One of the most memorable of his fights was the one against B.J Penn at UFC 112, where he defeated Penn to gain the lightweight title — despite being as massive underdog during that time.
Since then, his resume has been peppered with high profile wins and incredible matches. Fans attribute this to Edgar’s ability to stay intelligently technical no matter how fast the pace of the match is going.
On top of that, his ability to take a beating and not get knocked down gives him an edge. Edgar is the only fighter thus far to have been knocked down three times in a single round and still not lose.
This technicality and resilience coupled with his sharp jabs and high striking accuracy makes Edgar quite an obstacle to face in the octagon.
Women’s Featherweight Championship: Cyborg vs. Spencer
If the men’s match was long overdue, the women’s featherweight battle was a quick development in minds of some UFC fans. Feared veteran fighter Cris Cyborg, who recently just lost her 21-win streak, is facing newcomer Felicia Spencer. Spencer just debuted at the UFC in May but is already considered one of the fastest rising prospects of the women’s division. As Spencer earns more experience under her belt, the lack of featherweights in the women’s division meant that a showdown between the UFC novice and Cyborg was bound to happen.
Arguably one of the most feared names in MMA, Cris Cyborg was formerly in Strikeforce and Invicta FC before finally signing on to UFC in 2015.
Her debut came long overdue, and only happened after the UFC created an entire weight division — women’s featherweight — just for Cyborg. That only goes to show how big of a draw she was for MMA fans.
Cyborg enters this match with 20 victories out of her past 21 fights. However, a dark spot does stain Cyborg’s history. In 2012, she tested positive for steroids, which caused her to forfeit a match win, and a year-long license suspension.
Recent years have been considerably better for Cyborg. Considered a knockout artist, she has stood out amongst the female UFC fighters who prefer grappling. Her recorded victories include notable wins over Holly Holm, Yana Kunitskaya, and Tonya Evinger. However, in December of 2018 Cyborg’s streak was broken by Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes which cost Cyborg the UFC women’s featherweight.
A Canadian mixed martial artist, Spencer is the current Invicta FC featherweight champion.
After a winning streak of 6-0 at Invicta FC, Spencer finally signed on to the UFC in March 2019. In May of the same year, she fought her first UFC match versus Megan Anderson where she won by rear naked choke.
While relatively new to the UFC world, fans are keeping a close eye on Spencer as one of the strongest prospects in female MMA fighters. With a strong background in Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Kickboxing, she poses a serious threat in the division despite being a novice in the face of her more experienced opponent.
“This is kind of my moment to shock the world and shine,” Spencer said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “I and my team know something about me that the rest of the world doesn’t know yet, and I’m going to show the world on July 27.”
“Of course, ‘Cyborg’ is a legend in the sport,” Spencer adds. “But at the same time, she’s just a human being. She’s got the best nickname in the sport, but she’s not actually a ‘Cyborg.’ She’s just a human.”
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