Max Holloway defends UFC featherweight belt, beats Frankie Edgar at UFC 240 - InfoNews

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Max Holloway defends UFC featherweight belt, beats Frankie Edgar at UFC 240

Gavin Tucker punches Seungwoo Choi during UFC 240, in Edmonton on Saturday, July 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
July 27, 2019 - 10:12 PM

EDMONTON - Reigning featherweight champ Max Holloway successfully defended his belt Saturday, overwhelming former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar in UFC 240 at Rogers Place.

Holloway (21-4-0) won a unanimous five-round decision.

The 27-year-old Hawaiian kept Edgar at a distance throughout the fight, stinging him with jabs and uppercuts in round one and bloodying his nose in round two.

He resisted all but one attempt by Edgar (22-7-1) to take him down, and said he was proud to be able to go the distance.

"Everybody said I wouldn't be able to stay with this pace. I wanted to be able to stay for five rounds," said Holloway.

Holloway has never lost in the featherweight category, but was coming off a lightweight division loss to Dustin Poirier in April, his first loss in five years.

It was one of two headline fights.

In the other, Brazilian MMA fighting legend Cris Cyborg bounced back into the win column, pummelling Montreal's Felicia Spencer with punches, leg kicks and knee shots to win a unanimous decision.

Cyborg (21-2, 1 NC) with blood spilling down her face from a first round Spencer elbow, pounded Spencer and repulsed multiple attacks to put her in a clinch or take her down in the women's featherweight fight.

Spencer (7-1) had the crowd cheering her name as she withstood the assault and launched a few counterstrikes of her own, her white shirt stained red with Cyborg's blood.

"I trained really hard. Thanks to Felicia for giving me my first cut. I’m happy. I just want to come back and do my job. Thank you, God. I feel very blessed to be here," said Cyborg.

Cyborg, 34, is trying to rebuild her brand after coming off a loss to Amanda Nunes in a featherweight championship fight in December, Cyborg's first defeat in 13 years.

This was the last fight on her UFC contract.

She has been trading barbs with UFC president Dana White in the media after he accused her of avoiding a rematch with Nunes.

Cyborg said she's up for round two.

"For sure, I want Amanda. I want a rematch," she said.

It was a night of mixed results for Canadians.

On the main card, Quebec City's Marc-Andre Barriault (11-3) lost a split decision to Poland's Krzysztof Jotko in a middleweight tilt that featured a lot of clinch fighting on the fence.

Montreal's Olivier Aubin-Mercier, 30, (12-5) lost a unanimous-decision lightweight fight to 22-year-old Arman Tsarukyan of Armenia.

Aubin-Mercier snuck in a couple of good strikes but Tsarukyan kept him on the fence for much of the first two rounds, then took him down in the third and wore him down with punches and elbow shots.

American welterweights Geoff Neal and Niko Price put on a back and forth brawl that had the crowd cheering. Neal won a TKO when he pinned Price to the canvas in the middle of the second round and pounded him until Price's arms went limp.

In the preliminaries, Halifax fighter Gavin Tucker exorcised some demons from a hellacious beating in 2017 with his first MMA win in two years.

Tucker, 33, won by submission over South Korean striker Seungwoo Choi, 26, with a rear naked choke midway through the third round of their featherweight fight.

It was the first MMA fight for Tucker (11-1) since UFC 215 in Edmonton almost two years ago, when he was beaten so badly by Rick Glenn he was hospitalized with a fractured jaw and broken bones to his face.

Gillian Robertson, 24, (7-3 in MMA) of Niagara Falls, Ont., dismantled Brazil's Sarah Frota, 32, in a women's flyweight fight, grounding and pounding her in the second round, opening cuts over both her eyes.

In a featherweight fight, Calgary's Hakeem Dawodu dominated Japanese fighter Yoshniori Hori, ending in a third round TKO at 4:09.

Alexis Davis of Port Colborne, Ont., lost a unanimous women's flyweight decision to Brazil's Viviane Araujo, with Araujo pummelling Davis's face like a punching bag into a puffy, bloody mess.

In a spirited flyweight battle of Brazilians, Alexandre Pantoja and Deiveson Figueiredo stayed on their feet for three rounds, trading flurries of jabs and uppercuts that left Pantoja's face streaked with blood. Figueiredo won a unanimous decision.

Erik Koch took fellow American Kyle Stewart down four times to win a unanimous decision in their welterweight scrap. It was a fight that involved mainly clinch strikes and grappling on the fence.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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