UFC 240: Holloway vs Edgar | Early Prelim Predictions

UFC 240: Holloway vs Edgar | Early Prelim Predictions

125lbs- Gillian Robertson (6-3-0) vs Sarah Frota (9-1-0)

The last fight of the prelims transpires in the Women’s Flyweight division as Canadian Gillian “The Savage” Robertson meets Brazilian Sarah Frota. Frota fought at Strawweight and fell to Livia Souza in her debut- the first loss of her pro career. Robertson is 3-1 in the UFC, recording a trio of submission wins including her most recent victory over Veronica Macedo.

Frota is the taller girl by an inch and will have a sizeable 6″ reach advantage. The Canadian is the younger fighter by 8-years. As mentioned, Sarah debut at 115-pounds against Souza, but missed weight by 7-pounds. She is moving back up a weight class which should help her on the scales.

The Brazilian dropped a short notice split decision to the former Invicta FC champ. She showcased capable striking, throwing hard strikes that back Souza up on multiple occasions. She has finished 7 of her 9 wins, 5 by submission.

Frota gave up 4-takedowns in her debt and appeared to fade as the fight advanced.

With a similar submission heavy record, Robertson has tapped her foe in 5 of her 6 victories- 3 by armbar. She works well off her back and has taken down each of her 4 Octagon foes. Robertson was submitted in her second last fight, finding early success on the floor before getting caught in an armbar midway through the opening round.

Gillian is good in a scramble and while she has gotten a little over-zealous at times resulting in some bad positions, she usually works her way out of the spot.

If Robertson can take Frota down with regularity and/or capitalize on a good position and grab a sub that is her best avenue to victory. Unfortunately, she is self-admittedly a position over submission fighter which is problematic over a capable grappler like Frota. On the feet, the Brazilian has a significant power edge and Robertson’s lack of reach and still improving striking attack won’t be enough. Frota will stuff the early TDAs, potentially hold some key top time, but ultimately score big points on the feet as she backs Robertson up with power punches- my prediction is Sarah Frota to defeat Gillian Robertson by decision.

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170lbs- Erik Koch (15-6-0) vs Kyle Stewart (11-2-0)

In the Welterweight division, Roufussport product Erik “Phoenix” Koch returns to action against UFC sophomore Kyle “Gunz Up” Stewart. Koch has lost back to back fights and 5 of his last 7 outings- most recently falling to Clay Guida and Bobby Green. Stewart fell via submission to Chance Rencountre, falling to 1-2 over his last 3 fights.

Koch is making the move to Welterweight after fighting at both Featherweight and Lightweight. He has not competed in over 18-months. Stewart is 4-inches taller than Koch and will have a 5″ reach advantage. Erik is the older man by a year.

Stewart was nullified in his debut by the mat game of his foe. He has struggled with ground-centric opponents, including his Contender’s series opponent who held top position before succumbing to an ankle injury.

Despite making waves at Featherweight, Koch has struggled to find much momentum after his early success. He offers a capable striking game and is good on the mat. He has secured 8 wins by submission, but just 1 in his last 10 outings.

His chin is an area of concern has he has been finished twice by strikes.

The size of Stewart is a concern for Koch, as is his layoff. That being said, Stewart’s shaky TDD plays directly into the hands of the submissions skills of “Phoenix”. There is a great deal of pressure on Koch here as he has to be running out of opportunities to stay on the roster. Look for Koch to find success taking Stewart to the floor and eventually working to his back- my prediction is Erik Koch to defeat Kyle Stewart by submission.

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265lbs- Tanner Boser (16-5-1) vs Giacomo Lemos (6-0-0)

The first fight of the night features a pair of debuting Heavyweights as Alberta’s own Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser battles Brazilian Giacomo Lemos. Lemos is undefeated including a pair of 2019 TKO wins- he turned pro in 2016 and has finished all of his opponents. Boser has also fought twice this year and is 1-0-1 and holds win overs veterans DJ Linderman and Chase Gormley.

At 6’3″, Lemos is the taller man by an inch. The Canadian is the younger fighter by 2-years. Boser turned pro in 2012 and has a sizeable 22-6 edge in experience despite being the younger man.

Both fighters have knockout heavy win totals; Boser at 8 and Giacomo finishing 5 of 6 wins by knockout. The edge in long fight experience goes to Tanner who has fought into the championship rounds at multiple times during his career.

Lemos last 3 adversaries are a combined 40-43 while Boser recent trio of foes hold a total record of 38-20.

The Brazilian is a hulking bruiser that relies on muscling stiff kicks and punches devoid of much technique. Lemos has only fought beyond the middle round once (his pro debut), but his lack of footspeed makes it difficult to determine if his cardio is an issue or not.

Boser has fought into the 3rd round or beyond in 10 of his last 11 fights- including 4 bouts that went 4 and 5 rounds. Unusual for a Heavyweight. He throws some decent leg kicks and is coming off a TKO stoppage via kicks. He lacks urgency in his offense and is willing to sit back and throw single strikes.

Lemos’s lack of speed and stiff striking will make it difficult to track Boser down on the feet. Although, Boser’s low offensive output is concerning especially if he spends the majority of each round backtracking. Look for the leg kicks of the Canadain to play a significant role and he further limits the movement of his opponent and outpoints him over 3 rounds- my prediction is Tanner Boser to defeat Giacomo Lemos by decision.