Saturday night will bring the rare two-ppv-cards-in-one-month to fans around the world with UFC 240. The headliner will be Max Holloway’s featherweight title bout against Frankie Edgar, which is a very serviceable main event, but the rest of the card is a little short on name value. That doesn’t make it a bad card, just a bit underwhelming by pay-per-view standards.
There are some intriguing fights on the card, one of the most notable being Geoff Neal vs. Niko Price which is a solid pick for a performance bonus to be awarded to the winner. Now, let’s get down to the business of dissecting the four fights I think have an excellence possibility of ending in an upset.
Tanner Boser $8500 vs. Giacomo Lemos $7700This matchup is one of experience vs. raw power. Boser is a Canadian regional MMA veteran with a respectable 16-5-1 record, but he is content to conduct a slow, grinding pace that isn’t the most exciting to watch, and that’s a very generous description. He has eight finishes on his record, but only two have been in the first round, and both were well past the three-minute mark.
Lemos is a physically imposing finisher with a 6-0 record consisting of five knockouts and one submission. He’s not a technical striker by any means, completely willing to wing big overhands and loopers, but he has power, and that counts. He has good ground-and-pound, so if the fight hits the canvas, there’s a chance he finishes that way. This is a complete tossup between two guys that are playing the role of time-fillers, but I can see Lemos sending Boser to Sleepytown in front of his countrymen.
Giacomo Lemos via (T)KO
Gillian Robertson $8600 vs. Sarah Frota $7600Robertson is an excellent grappler with great takedowns and a wicked top game. She’s not invincible, though, with losses to Barb Honchak and Mayra Bueno Silva to illustrate that point. Her striking is not on par with Frota’s either, and I think that is the difference-maker here.
Frota is a formidable opponent with both a size and power advantage. She’s extremely aggressive, so that first round is probably going to see her looking to take Robertson’s head off before she has the opportunity to go for any takedowns. Should she end up on the ground, though, Frota is a very good grappler, and should be able to hold her own there. This is a close one, but Frota has a better than average chance to win this contest.
Sarah Frota via (T)KO
Alexandre Pontoja $8300 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo $7900Pantoja is a phenomenal talent with crisp, technical striking and excellent grappling. He’s equally dangerous on the ground or on the feet, and his knockout finish of Wilson Reis was a feast for fight fans.
Figueiredo is not necessarily the better striker, but he is the more powerful of the two, and absolutely wrecked John Moraga last year. Pantoja might be the more seasoned grappler, but Figueiredo isn’t exactly a novice and will likely prove to be a worthy adversary there, as well. This is probably the most well-matched fight on the entire card and my pick for FOTN, but after close examination, I think Deiveson takes the win in violent fashion.
Deiveson Figueiredo via (T)KO
Gavin Tucker $8400 vs. Seung Woo Choi $7800Tucker is a seasoned veteran of eight years with eight finishes. He looked marvelous against Sam Sicilia but took a beatdown of epic proportions at the hands of Rick Glenn. That was in September 2017 and he hasn’t had a fight since, with an injury claiming the majority of that time frame. Tucker is a great striker and a serviceable wrestler, but he’s going to be way undersized against Seung, who comes in at 5’11″ and with a whopping eight-inch reach advantage.
Choi is what I like to term a “blue-collar fighter” who sports good cardio and high output. He’s excellent at pressuring his opponents and dictating an insane pace. He’s also a knockout artist with plenty of power, as five of his seven wins have come via KO. Where he might have an issue is on the ground, but Tucker has to get him there first. This fight was the easiest choice for me and the pricing suggests it’s a much closer fight than I feel it will actually be.
Seung Woo Choi via (T)KO
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