MadLab’s UFC 240 Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying…
What’s up, guys. There will be no pod this week, but the Vegas picks will be up normal time tomorrow. Let’s get it guys.
UFC 240 MAIN CARD
Max Holloway $9400 vs. Frankie Edgar $6800 TITLE FIGHT
This fight is a fight that would have intrigued me more if Frankie was a little younger. However, it’s better late than never. Holloway is a fighter who has come into his own to an elite level. After his loss to Connor Mcgregor, it was clear he was not ready or primed like he is now. Holloway has grown in so many variables and ways. As a person, a father, a fighter, and the ability to carry the load of a champion. When all is said and done, Max can go down as one of the best that has ever done it, and it is clear he may just be on that path. With extremely slick striking, unmatched volume when thrown, great range management, and an overall solid defensive grappling game, Max has every tool and marking to be a poster board great. He takes on a very very dangerous task in an all-time great who smells his window coming to a close. When you are a good fighter and your time comes to a close, it usually just declines from there. But when you are an all-time great and you know your window is small, then sometimes what you have is the very ability to be great in the toughest moments, and this starts to rear its head for one more dance. You see, to be great, you need one very special element. You need to really have the string to pluck when times get very bad. You need to be able to embrace the chaos and make it into a positive. If you have that mindset and ability, then at any moment in time, when you feel cornered, it can rear its head and the lights can be bright once again. Max Halloway will need to show he can turn the lights on again as well since he is coming off a very tough loss to Dustin Poirier in which it just seemed he was too small and not as efficient and sharp as he normally is. With that said, it is hard to believe both of these men have similar stature when it comes to their careers. However, Holloway is only 27 years of age, where Frankie is getting ready to close the cover on his legendary storybook career. Frankie is always going to be a threat, and his chin has been checked a few times, but it doesn’t take away from who he is as a fighter when it comes to offensive output. The key to his gold strap is going to be wrestling. Frankie is going to have to use a very clear cut approach to beat Holloway. If he decides to stand with Max, then it will be just a matter of time before Holloway starts to run away on the cards with this one. If he decides to test the grappling chops of Max and succeeds, then this can cause one issue for Max and one huge bonus for Frankie. Max will lose all of his output due to being planted on his back, and Frankie will have his chin clear out of harm’s way but smothering Max with top control. This fight is, by far, much more intriguing than you all may think. This is not going to be a cakewalk fight for Max, and those who think so, well, I introduce you to Frankie Edgar. There is no quit in him, never say die attitude and just a powerhouse of heart that will always be remembered under the bright lights of many arenas around the world, hoping for one last run at gold to put the most amazing stamp on an already legendary career. Unfortunately, as much as I want to pick him here, I just can’t. Max figures you out. He doesn’t figure you out quickly. He figures you out in waves. On his own time and when he is ready to step on the gas, he does it in a big way. The accumulation of strikes gets lost in translation, but the assault he puts on is something few can handle, and in a 5 round fight, I just feel Frankie gets lost in translation at some point. 5-7 years ago, this is a totally different convo, but that’s not the case and Father Time doesn’t care about narratives.
The Pick: Max
Cris Cyborg $9600 vs. Felicia Spencer $6600
Cyborg is the type of fighter who really doesn’t come around too often in women’s MMA. Maybe never again will we see another Cyborg. It’s not about her fighting style. It’s not about the domination she held for so long. It’s really everything. The fear she sets in women. The gap she had for so long when you spoke of her. There was everyone else, and then, there was Cyborg. This all trickled down up until very recently when she faced one woman who is also an MMA diamond in Amanda Nunes. Nunes wasn’t afraid; she didn’t care who she was, who she beat, and also really cared less about what mystery power she brought to the cage. She was willing to stand toe-to-toe with her, did it, and KO’d Cyborg, making her finally look human and now drawing more thirsty fighters wanting a shot at her for resume reasons. The rematch for Cyborg and Nunes was set and slated, but Cyborg refused it due to contract issues she felt needed to be hashed out before she accepted it. So here we are in a match that if she doesn’t win, not only will she be considered human, but more of a once immovable force would be known as a highly questionable entity. This fight was accepted by her after she turned down the Nunes rematch, and it seems as if she is fine with going back to rolling on competitors who just aren’t on her level. This is a co-main event fight that normally you would be curious about how a fighter will bounce back, but this seems like a really safe road for Cyborg to take here. Spencer is not a bad fighter, and she is, in fact, very serviceable. With that said, I think it’s very safe to say you need to be more than serviceable against Cyborg. Not to mention, if you are predominantly a grappler, then you aren’t going to fair well with Cyborg, considering she has far stronger limbs and much more seasoned in the art of war. This fight is honestly just a small taste to keep Cyborg active till her fight with Nunes aligns. I can’t see Spencer winning. I don’t see Spencer winning. Cyborg is going to want to make a serious statement, and I think she does.
The Pick: Cyborg
Geoff Neal $9000 vs. Niko Price $7200
This is actually quite the banger of a fight. Niko price is one of those guys that possess extremely odd and awkward power, coupled with a persona to match. I would not say that Niko is super talented, but what he is, is a magician when it comes to finding his spots in awkward positions and finishing his opposition. He reminds me of a jester of some sort. A fighter that you really aren’t going to take for a world beater but def someone that will hang around long enough if you let him go get the last laugh. Price is a burden. He is very beatable and very hittable but he can be a burden to you if you don’t have the chops with power to stop him dead in his tracks. With that said, Neal has the clear power to stop you dead in your tracks. Neal has some serious power and for the style of fight that this is folding out to be, this is the fight he wants. Niko has faith in his power, Neal has major faith in his power and when 2 men have this type of faith in their power they tend to meet in the middle with no one stepping back. So in a situation like this, it’s really who gets to the spot first and who can start and finish the combos last. In fights like this, it’s all about spots. Neal is the faster, more athletic, more explosive, and a more powerful striker. It doesn’t mean that Niko can’t do what Niko does when a situation gets awkward, but I think Neal gets to his spot before things get too nasty in the sandbox. Someone’s chin is going to be left out on a shelf and I have a feeling Niko is going to be the one on the receiving end here.
The Pick: Neal
Olivier Aubin-Mercier $7400 vs. Arman Tsarukyan $8800
This fight is extremely close, and the line should probably be a pick-em for my own reasons, but we shall see how the cookie crumbles here. OAM is coming off 2 straight losses and is starving to make a statement by getting his back off the wall and avoid making it 3 losses in a row. With a very solid frame for the division and fighting on his home soil of Canada, OAM brings a very slow and strategic approach to his game. The Tri Star way is all about patience and creating efficient offense without the waste of movement and energy. OAM has a decent standup, but he is much better served when he is on the ground controlling things. With that said, he may have some trouble in this matchup when he takes on a higher octane fighter in Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan has a very well rounded finishing rate. With 13 wins, he has 5 by KO and 5 by way of submission. It’s not about his skill set as much as it is his pressure. He puts a very good pace on, and he can be extremely slippery on the ground as well. This is the type of matchup where just his activity alone can win him rounds. OAM is going to really have to do a good job either controlling position or winning some early exchanges, or he can find his patient and calculated style getting lost in the flood. With that said, I see this being a really really close fight, and I am not sure where the oddsmakers are seeing this in such light, but I really don’t agree. I like Tsarukyan a lot, but I also like OAM, and I am not willing to toss the towel in on 2 losses to very formidable competition. If you look at the alignment here and what’s at stake, you may look at things a bit different. He needs this fight and Zahabi (his trainer) knows it. Dropping 3 straight would be a terrible look, and that is something the UFC will asses closely if that’s the case. With that said, being on his home soil can give him the ever so slightest edge here in a fight that I am expecting to be razor close. I’ll take the home dog here.
The Pick: OAM
Krzysztof Jotko $8700 vs. Marc-Andre Barriault $7500
Interesting fight here. Jotko is a guy I am up in the air on as far is of my read was correct on him or not. At first site, I really thought the kid was good. He had a certain element that I really felt could be worked on and built upon. Decent striker, very solid grappling and just a solid well-rounded pedigree that had a good foundation to really stack bricks on. With that said, in the blink of an eye, Jotko dropped 3 straight and made me really start questioning that as possibly being a very cold call on my part. A 7-4 record in the UFC is nothing to be ashamed of but it seems as if he reached a level where he is having problems and he is going to need to fix that if he plans on staying on the UFC roster. Since the 3 losses, he took his back off the wall with a win and now will look to build on it. This fight is really going to tell a lot about who he is as a fighter. Losing this fight can really put him in question, but there is a chance Jotko steps on the gas and doesn’t look back as well. So I am hoping he steps on the gas and makes my assessment of him a little more inline. I never thought that he would be some crazy contender but I thought he can be a very tough fight for a lot of people. He will be taking on Barriault who in his own right is pretty well rounded in his approach. Although much more of a striker, Barriault has no issues with a little tussle on the ground. Good hands, decent grappling, the will to fight, and a good pace that can frustrate you if you aren’t prepared for it. With 11 wins and 8 by way of KO. All his decision wins and including 1 loss was by way of Split Decision which I find a bit odd. It tells me that sometimes he fights to the level of his competition just to win. That’s something that scares me with Jotko because if he gets top control, I don’t see Barriault having much success keeping Jotko at bay. I think the clear path to Victory for both men is quite clear. For Jotko, wrestle his way to victory and for Barriault, keep his hips in space and stay banging on the feet.
The Pick: Jotko
UFC 240 UNDERCARD
Alexis Davis $7100 vs. Viviane Araujo $9100
I’m not spending a lot of time here because I am not really stoked about this one. Alexis Davis is one of those fighters who has a taste of the old guard and trying to get some elements of the new guard into her game. Solid grinder with very dirty and grimy ground game, but she really doesn’t have that athletic output or explosion behind it. She will look to secure ground control, and if she gets you there, she does a pretty good job keeping it there. With that said, she is taking on a slick, athletic, fast, and explosive firecracker in Araujo. She exploded onto the scene with an extremely impressive victory in her last-minute notice against Tatiana Bernardo. She showed it all. Cardio, grappling, striking and just sheer confidence in her approach. I think she is just going to be too much athletically for Davis here. Davis is the better fighter, but Araujo is too fast for Davis in this spot and unless Davis can get her to the floor and secure something then expect Araujo to frustrate her with getting to the spots a lot sooner.
The Pick: Araujo
Hakeem Dawodu $9300 vs. Yoshinori Horie $6900
This fight seems like a set up for Dawodu to win. Canada’s own Dawodu has not really lived up to the name that has been placed upon him, but it doesn’t mean that he can’t open up in his approach going forward. With that said, it seems the UFC is going to try and give him a little kickstart here to try and spark a little fire under his win reel. Horie is a Japanese debuting fighter in which shows a good record on paper but really hasn’t fought anyone to mark as being impressive. With an 8-1 record, 5 have been by way of KO, and his sole loss was by KO as well. He has never submitted anyone in his career which is a great thing for Dawodu considering he is all about getting into a leather exchange. The UFC aligned this fight perfectly for his style and it will really allow him to showcase his striking if he plans on doing it at all. This fight matchup is tailor-made for him, and he should win but I give heavy pause when saying this. I am picking him here given all the variables, but I would not be taken back for a single minute if he ended up dropping this fight for some reason.
The Pick: Dawodu
Gavin Tucker $8400 vs. Seungwoo Choi $7800
Gavin Tucker is a perfect example of a question mark fighter. The reason I say that, in his last fight, he was literally dead to rights in a one-sided beating against Rick Glenn that would actually change many people’s lives. It had some effect on him, considering he took a hiatus for a few years before coming back for a taste this Saturday night. Gauging how Tucker will look is really anyone’s guess. There are a lot of factors involved mentally. Sometimes fighters can just shack a beating like that off and move forward, while sometimes a piece of them is left in the cage never to return again. It’s really a tough sell to take a fighter on his word or his training. Training is far different than in actual real-time. Pulling the trigger could be a problem, fear of losing again can be a problem. All of this ties into adrenaline dump and overexcitement before entering the cage. There is also an element of rust he will need to kick off, and I am just not sure how comfortable I am with backing him here. It really is just a blind tough sell, and I don’t exactly know what the oddsmakers are really gauging from here. With that said, I can sit here and breakdown Seungwoo until we are blue in the face, but the real issue is not with who Tucker is fighting; it’s more along the lines of he hasn’t been active. With all these variables involved, it’s not one I am comfortable picking either way, but it’s more based on the unknown of Tucker than anything else here. He needs to show me he can pull the trigger after a beating and a layoff before I can pick him with confidence. However, as crazy as this sounds, I am giving him the green light here. I have a feeling about this fight. I think he comes out safe, but he comes out with enough to get this done and the monkey off his back. Let’s give the kid a blind pick on a guy feeling.
The Pick: Tucker
Alexandre Pantoja $8300 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo $7900
This is a very intriguing fight for me. Both of these guys have clear paths to victory here and need this fight to really propel them into a very promising spot in the division. Figs is coming off a loss and needs this fight in a very bad way in order to damage control his decent on the ladder any further due to a second loss in a row. Very good striking with sharp hands and a decent ground game, Figs is pretty high octane and holds a pretty solid stick of dynamite in his gloves when he throws. His durability and his chin allow him to confidently sit in the pocket and trade with you if needed, but engaging in a firefight with Figs is something that most people tend to shy away from. He will be taking on Pantoja, which in the grand scheme of this fight on paper, Pantoja is just the better and more well-rounded fighter, but on paper doesn’t always translate to the actual fight itself. There is an element involved when you lock two styles that are different in shades but the same in highlights. It seems as if this fight will be one in which the game plans and adjustments will change numerous times for both men, and it will take the one who has more tricks in his bag that should come out on top. I think Pantoja is the one who gets it done. He is good everywhere, and he is game everywhere. I think Figs gets the better of the exchanges on the feet, but when this goes to the ground, I think Pantoja is going to do whatever he can to keep it there. Figs is very slippery, and grabbing a hold of him for a takedown is not going to be easy, but Pantoja has the tools to back him up and scare him off of his hips with other looks in order to create mystery on his entries. I think the fight is highly competitive, but I think Pantoja gets this done.
The Pick: Pantoja
Gillian Robertson $8600 vs. Sarah Frota $7600
GR is a very sneaky gamer who many people tend to overlook. Maybe because she is quiet or maybe because she hasn’t shown enough just yet, but she is a talented fighter. I wouldn’t call her a great striker, but she has an extremely crafty ground game and she knows it. She ties together her wrestling very well, and when you know what your talents are, you tend to go for them right off the bat. Sarah Frota is bumping up in weight here, and you wonder how Frota will deal with the jump in weight against a grinding grappler like Robertson. Carrying her weight could be a problem here for Frota in her new weight class. I’m expecting Robertson to get in on Frota’s hips early and often. If she fails, I am expecting her to really stay committed and get this to her wheelhouse where she has a specialty in taking your back. If the division’s weight jump is going to affect Frota, it will be the grappling that does it, and that is what Robertson wants to do. Test her, grind her, make her carry your weight, look for the opening, and if you don’t get it, then work her gas tank and see if that carries over into the new weight class. You need to really test the waters because not everything carries over here. There will be a missing link or a flaw in the system; it’s just your job to find it. Once you find it, then you expose it. However, using your strength as a first test is always your best bet, and for Robertson, grappling is the key to her success so I am expecting her to start there and end there. Frota gets tired and Robertson starts stealing the judges’ hearts here.
The Pick: Robertson
Erik Koch $8000 vs. Kyle Stewart $8200
I am not spending a ton of time here because I am afraid of this one and I am not going to have a lot of action here. I actually don’t hate this fight but it does scare me. I’m actually glad it’s the first fight of the night (Due to a cancelation). Such a tough fight to decipher here for the mere fact that, on one hand, you have Koch who is a better fighter everywhere in my opinion, but he’s an old 30 years of age and I feel like he just had his time very early on. On the other hand, you have Kyle Stewart, who really just isn’t as good as Koch and can be exposed if Koch really comes in sharp. But Koch is so up and down – losing 5 of his last 7 is not a good look – but I’m giving him the nod here. I think at this point in his career, these are the guys he beats.
The Pick: Koch
UFC 240 DRAFTKINGS
5 rounds for a guy who throws volume, is borderline freaky in a fight, and is leaner, bigger, stronger, and has all the ability in the world to keep this fight in space? Yeah, I’ll take some.
Hurts me to pick against him here, but I think the time has come to accept that Frankie has seen better days. He still may have that sprinkle of magic in his back pocket for one more dance, but to pick him straight up is not something I can do. However, $6800 on DK is another story. There is value here if he can somehow go yard and possibly secure a win with his wrestling. Probable? No, but it’s Franky Edgar. You doubt him while I’m plugging a few small punts on him to see what happens.
Cyborg by death…. can’t fade her.
No thanks. Not in a fight that Cyborg really needs.
Geoff Neal $9000
I am expecting a firefight here, and I am expecting someone to get clipped. With that said, I think Neal ignites Price’s hot spot first. I’m interested.
Niko Price $7200
Dude is freaky, and he finds ways to win which is very bizarre, but you can’t deny this kid forever. I wouldn’t put it past him, but you need to pick and choose your spots, and I am choosing to stay off him here.
He’s in Canada, fighting in front of his people. He is on a 2-fight losing streak and has one of the most brilliant minds in his corner. Zahabi is a master at game planning strategically, making sure that no offense is wasted energy and nailing down adjustments. He is much better than he has been producing… Why shouldn’t I take a swing at the dog here? I’m interested.
I see why he is intriguing. But I think DK really is gauging this way too much on OAM’s last few fights. I think $8800 is way too expensive here. I’m off him.
The key for Jotko here is to look for hip exposure early and often. He is not going to want to get into a pocket fight with Barriault, especially in the opening frame. Jotko is going to want to keep this on the ground where he will have a clear cut advantage with the possible scenario of a finish as well. Sub $9k with some finishing upside? I’ll buy in small.
He is going to have to come out blazing early before Jotko starts timing his shots and searches for hips. I just don’t see it happening.
I like Davis, but she is not athletic enough in this spot. As tough as she is, I just think Araujo is going to be too sharp, too fast and too explosive for her. Davis is a tough sell for me, but I wouldn’t call her the worst punt in the world. It’s not her on the ground that I’m concerned with; it’s more how is she going to get it there.
She’s tough, but this is a dangerous fight for her, even tho she holds so many advantages here. Davis will never go quietly into the night, and I am not expecting her to here. $9100 is a tad pricey for me. I’m off her.
The UFC is lining him up for a much-needed win against another striker who will not threaten any sort of level change or hip entry. He’s fighting a tailor-made matchup. He is fighting in Canada. He needs this fight. And he should want to make a statement. With that said, he scares the shit out of me. Therefore, I will not fade him totally. If I’m afraid, then many people are as well, and that can drive his ownership down. I’ll take a small plug in GPP.
He has the power to get it done, but I think people may be punting a little here and I want to watch it explode. Pick and choose your spots guys.
Gavin Tucker $8400
Ughhhh, I have no idea what he will look like, but $8400 is a nice price. I’m taking a few swings here because I like the unknown.
I think many people will be on him here and I totally get. However, I’m going the other way.
He’s more well rounded, and he will be looking to go ground early and often against the potent striker in Figs. Close fight and you probably want a taste both ways, but my heavier lean is Pantoja here.
If he can keep it standing, I like his chances. But that’s a big if. I will have some hedge weight on him, but I like Pantoja slightly more here.
Gillian Robertson $8600
$8600 for the upside of a submission here? Yep. I’ll buy in with some Robertson.
Sarah Frota $7600
I’m off her. I don’t see her being able to keep Robertson off her.
Erik Koch $8000 / Kyle Stewart $8200
Koch is the better fighter everywhere, but he’s older and weathered. He’s not who he once was. $8k is mighty cheap tho. First fight of the night… be very careful here. I may be off this fight in its entirety, to be honest. However, if a gun is to my head, I’m taking a flyer on Koch.
UFC 240 PRIZE PICKS/VEGAS BETS
We have a new game in town and it is Prize Picks! This is such an awesome add on to the MMA landscape and I am so happy to be apart of such a cool and unique game. So what prize picks offers is very black and white and it ties in DFS and Wagering all in one format! Quick, easy to navigate, and so fun to play. Here is how it works.
Prize Picks will give you a hand full of fighters with their projected DFS score after their fight. Your job is to basically pick the over/under of their projected total correctly and you win! Its as simple as that! The kicker is that you can parlay any fighter you want up to 4 fighters. Its that simple.
I will be adding this to my article every week as an inclusive add on to my already extensive article.
I am trying to give you guys every outlet to win money with my article giving you the best bang for your buck and the ultimate ROI. Below I will give you some of the plays I will be looking at here. I am telling you right now that you will LOVE this game. Use the below link and use promo code ELITE to get started!
MadLabs Prize Picks!
Max Holloway OVER 109
Max Holloway has registered 471 Significant strikes in his last 2 fights including 1 with 290. Max is a volume machine and in his last fight which he lost he was still able to manage 91 Fantasy points in that loss. If you are giving me Max at 109 in a 5 round fight, it is so hard to believe he doesn’t have a clear opportunity to bust the ceiling off that number.
Geoff Neal Over 85.4
This one is a little iffy but I am expecting a possible finish in this fight. Both of these guys can bang and I am also expecting someone’s chin to be left on a shelf to be taken. I am leaning on Neal to catch price with something big. Not super confident here but there is without a doubt some upside here.
Jotko Over 67.8
If Jotko wants to win this fight he will really need to go ground and with that comes takedowns and transitions. If he can secure a few takedowns and get even a decision win with some decent out put, there is no reason he can’t cover that number.
That is a taste of what you will be getting weekly from my Prize pick section. Now get in there and join!
1.7 units to win 1
1.35 to win 1
Cyborg WIns by KO/TKO -245
2.45 units to win 1
Neal Wins By TKO/KO -160
1.6 Units to win 1
.5 units to win .78