UFC 240: Max Holloway retains featherweight title; Cris Cyborg dominates

  • Max Holloway, left, fights Frankie Edgar during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Max Holloway is hit by Frankie Edgar during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

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  • Max Holloway, left, and Frankie Edgar connect on each other during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Max Holloway punches Frankie Edgar during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Max Holloway, right, punches Frankie Edgar during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Max Holloway, left, blocks a kick from Frankie Edgar during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Max Holloway celebrates the win over Frankie Edgar during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Cris Cyborg celebrates the win over Felicia Spencer during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Cris Cyborg, left, is punched by Felicia Spencer during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Cris Cyborg, left, punches Felicia Spencer during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Geoff Neal gets on top of Niko Price during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Cris Cyborg, left, hits Felicia Spencer during a mixed martial arts bout at UFC 240, in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

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EDMONTON, Alberta — Reigning featherweight champ Max Holloway defended his belt Saturday, overwhelming former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar at UFC 240.

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 the first round and bloodying his nose in the second.

Holloway 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,” Holloway said.

Holloway has never lost in the featherweight category. He 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 headline bout, Brazilian MMA legend Cris Cyborg pummeled 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 taking an elbow in the first round, pounded Spencer and deflected 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 as she withstood the assault and launched a few counterstrikes, 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,” Cyborg said.

The 34-yar-old Cyborg 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.

In other bouts, 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.

Marc-Andre Barriault (11-3) lost a split decision to Poland’s Krzysztof Jotko in a middleweight bout, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (12-5) lost a unanimous-decision to 22-year-old Arman Tsarukyan of Armenia in a lightweight fight.

Gavin Tucker won by submission over South Korean striker Seungwoo Choi in 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 (7-3 in MMA) defeated Brazil’s Sarah Frota in a women’s flyweight fight.

In a featherweight fight, Hakeem Dawodu dominated Japanese fighter Yoshniori Hori, ending in a third round TKO at 4:09. Alexis Davis lost a unanimous women’s flyweight decision to Brazil’s Viviane Araujo.

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 bout.

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UFC 235: Jon Jones pummels Anthony Smith to retain title

LAS VEGAS — If you weren’t sure Jon Jones was back, the light heavyweight champion proved it Saturday night.

Jones spent 25 minutes taking the fight to an overmatched Anthony Smith, throttling him with a diverse arsenal on his way to a lopsided unanimous decision in the UFC 235 main event at T-Mobile Arena.

Afterward, Jones gave heavy praise to his opponent.

“His reputation is known for being so durable. Now I know why they call him ‘Lionheart,’” Jones (24-1, 1 NC) said. “I’ve never had someone talk to me while I was hitting him. ‘That was nice’ and ‘Is that all you got?’”

The only drama came in the fourth round when Jones cracked a downed Smith with a knee to the head, for which he was deducted two points by referee Herb Dean.

As a result, the final scores from all three judges were 48-44.

To his credit, Smith (31-14) wished to continue to fight instead of saying the knee forced him unable to continue.

“I didn’t want to take the DQ win,” Smith said. “I wanted to win it. I didn’t want to steal it.”

As a result, Smith went on into the fifth, which saw Jones keeping him against the Octagon to prevent any sort of crazy finish.

Jones is now 15-0 with one no contest – a title-fight win overturned because of a positive PED test – in his past 16 fights. His only loss came a result via disqualification for delivering illegal elbows when he was dominating and close to finishing Matt Hamill in 2009

Jones, 31, was listed as high as a 10-1 favorite by some oddsmakers coming into this fight, his first since winning the title back with a third-round knockout of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 at The Forum.

Jones’ career has been colorful, to say the least, with two drug suspensions and being stripped two times – three counting an interim title.

Despite all that, Jones still has 12 championship fight victories, tying him for second with former flyweight king Demetrious Johnson and trailing only former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s 13.

Jones made Smith’s night difficult by using a plethora of kicks – to Smith’ legs, body and head – meant to attack as well as keep the challenger at bay.

Smith, who moved up from middleweight less than a year ago, found himself fighting for the belt after three consecutive finishes over former champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir.

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Brian Ortega title fight vs. champ Max Holloway canceled at UFC 226

LAS VEGAS — The UFC 226 co-main event between featherweight champion Max Holloway and South Bay’s Brian Ortega has been canceled because of Holloway’s health issues.

Holloway, as first reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, began experiencing concussion-like symptoms Monday. After his open workout Wednesday at the MGM Grand, Holloway slept and was reportedly difficult to awaken and began experiencing vision flashes and slurred speech.

UFC 226 is headlined by heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic defending his belt against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, but the 145-pound title fight between the two warriors in their prime was highly anticipated.

Ortega, 27, was reportedly offered replacements but is leaning strongly toward turning them down in hopes of fighting Holloway soon, according to those close to Ortega.

The undefeated 145-pounder from Lomita is coming off impressive finishes of Cub Swanson in December and Frankie Edgar in March – which came on just three weeks’ notice and ended with a first-round knockout.

This is the third time this year Holloway, 26, has not fought as scheduled on a card. He cited a leg injury in withdrawing a month before his March 3 title defense against Edgar for UFC 222, which led to Ortega’s opportunity. At UFC 223 in April, Holloway stepped up on late notice to fight lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but was pulled off the card by the New York State Athletic Commission due to difficulties with his weight cut.

UFC 226 is the latest International Fight Week card, typically among the UFC’s biggest of the year around Fourth of July, to be thrown into chaos

At UFC 189 in 2015, then-featherweight champion Jose Aldo pulled out a week before his fight with Conor McGregor.

At UFC 200 in 2016, then-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was removed from the card and his title defense against Cormier due to an anti-doping violation.

At UFC 213 in 2017, bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes withdrew just hours before her title defense against Valentina Shevchenko because of complications with sinusitis.

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