Tag Archives: UFC Vegas 27

UFC Vegas 27 Fallout: Font shines in main event, Esparza back on top

The top of two of the most exciting divisions in the UFC have got themselves a new contender after UFC Vegas 27.

In the men’s bantamweight division, number three ranked Rob Font took on number four ranked Cody Garbrandt in the main event and put together a striking clinic to completely dominate the former champion en route to a unanimous decision win.

It was a fight billed to see whether Garbrandt had really evolved into a more mature fighter after getting back on the win trail last time out following three knockout losses in a row, or whether Font could establish himself as one of the best in the world and worthy of being in the title picture.

In the end though, both proved to be true. Garbrandt was able to stick to a game plan for the majority of the fight and not lose his mind, then entering a brawl at the detriment of his chin. However, Font’s game plan and ability to jab and use a six-inch reach advantage just proved too much to overcome on this occasion for the 29-year-old.

Losing to a top fighter isn’t something to be ashamed of and Font has now proven he is among the best in the world.

With the title being held up currently with the champion Aljamain Sterling recovering from neck surgery, Font is aware that he is unlikely to get the next shot. Following the fight he called to get the winner of the fight between Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw, whose cancelled bout has been rearranged for July 24th.

While that’s unlikely to be the deal considering Sandhagen in particular feels he deserves a shot already, never mind with a win over Dillashaw, he’s earned himself the right to make such call outs and give UFC president Dana White a headache.

In the co-main event, we saw an old contender re-emerge as the inaugral champion of the division Carla Esparza ended the unbeaten run of Yan Xiaonan in the UFC with a second-round TKO win.

Esparza dominated the fight, using her excellent wrestling to secure top position and win the positional battle before progressing into a crucifix position and raining down strikes on her bloodied opponent until the referee stepped in to stop it.

After the fight she called for White and the UFC to make a rematch of the first ever fight for the belt between herself and newly crowned champion Rose Namajunas.

White isn’t as convinced, telling the post-fight press conference that he needed to decide between Esparza or giving Weili Zhang an immediate rematch.

Esparza is now on a five-fight win streak and after losing the title back in 2015 to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she never got another opportunity at the belt. She’s the best placed 115lbs fighter to challenge for it now and it would be more than deserved.

UFC Vegas 27: Font vs Garbrandt – Main card predictions

Bantamweights lead the way at UFC Vegas 27 this weekend when Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt go toe to toe in the main event.

The number three and four ranked 135lbers in the world will battle it out to give UFC president Dana White a headache when it comes to the top of the division right now, as ‘No Love’ looks to prove he really is back while Font looks to prove he’s a real contender among the elite.

Elsewhere on the card Yan Xiaonan takes on Carla Esparza in the co-main event to potentially determine the next contender for Rose Namajunas’ strawweight title, while Jack Hermansson and Edmen Shahbazyan meet in their delayed middleweight scrap too.

Last week at UFC 262 we didn’t have the best of nights prediction wise, going 6/12 with two perfect picks to move up to 314/494 (63.56%) with 136 perfect picks (43.31%).

We’ll look to improve that here with this 13-fight card, and after picking the early prelims here and the rest of the prelims here, we move onto the main card now.


Jack Hermansson (21-6) vs Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A fight that could easily have been a headline bout this time last year opens up the main card as the veteran Jack Hermansson takes on the prospect Shahbazyan in the middleweight division. Hermansson was on a decent run before getting knocked out by Jared Cannonier, before he bounced back with a very quick heel hook win over Kelvin Gastelum then got dominated by Marvin Vettori last time out. Shahbazyan was on an absolute tear himself, before his first main event against Derek Brunson saw him get dominated and finished in the third round.

Hermansson is one of the best grapplers in the division, with a sneaky submission game and fantastic top control once he gets on top, while Shahbazyan is as pure a striker as they come in the division with sensational kickboxing. Hermansson will be happy to stand if he can keep the distance short, but if he gets hold of him will almost certainly look to put him on his back.

While Shahbazyan has got great talent for all to see, his hype has made people forget he’s only 23. He’s in no rush to hit the top of the mountain right now and I think he still has holes in his game that ‘Joker’ can expose and I think he’ll get the win here.
PICK – Jack Hermansson via Knockout, Round 2

David Dvorak (19-3) vs Raulian Paiva (20-3) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A potential fight of the night at flyweight here as two 125lbers look to break into the top ten of the rankings with a big win. Dvorak has won 15 fights in a row, including wins over Bruno Silva and then Jordan Espinosa in 2020, while Paiva bounced back from consecutive defeats to earn back-to-back wins over Mark De La Rosa and then Zhalgas Zhumagulov at UFC 251.

Dvorak is a special grappler, with good striking to set up his takedowns where he will look to control position and eventually try and get to the back and look for chokes. Paiva on the other hand is a super striker with quick hands and great kicks, who’s ground game is okay but not so much when it’s against someone like Dvorak. ‘The Undertaker’ is relentless with his pressure and can hold his own on the feet too, meaning those kicks Paiva throws leave him susceptible to getting them caught and taken down.

Paiva could win the striking battle on the feet, but Dvorak will win any grappling battles on the mat and that’s where the difference lies. For me, Dvorak gets the fight down and controls position to nullify the threat of Paiva for a wide decision win.
PICK – David Dvorak via Decision

Felicia Spencer (8-2) vs Norma Dumont (5-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

The first ladies on the card get a nice spot on the main card as former title challenger Felicia Spencer looks to get back in the win column against Norma Dumont. Spencer took ‘Cyborg’ to a decision in a losing effort before beating Zarah Fairn dos Santos via KO in the first round to set up a defeat to Amanda Nunes at UFC 250. Dumont got slaughtered in her first UFC performance against Megan Anderson, before earning a win at bantamweight over Ashlee Evans-Smith.

Spencer is a natural 145lbser among the women which is a positive immediately, with great striking and decent grappling to boot. Dumont on the other hand is a grappler with jiu-jitsu skills and a decent bit of striking on the feet, but will have a huge size disadvantage that she’ll need to overcome. Spencer is the far better wrestler and has better striking and this fight just seems like a lay up for the bigger woman in a division that is limited in it’s contenders.

Spencer should be able to have her way entirely in this one for a dominant decision win.
PICK – Felicia Spencer via Decision

Justin Tafa (4-2) vs Jared Vanderaa (11-5) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

The big men get a run-out in this one as ‘Bad Man’ Justin Tafa takes on Jared Vanderaa in the heavyweight division. Tafa is 1-2 in the UFC, losing his debut to Yorgan De Castro before knocking out Juan Adams and then losing to Carlos Felipe at UFC Fight Island 7 in January. Vanderaa on the other hand also lost his UFC debut, getting KO’d by Sergey Spivak at UFC Vegas 19.

Tafa is a brawler, with tremendous power in his hands but an interesting chin and not the best boxing skills as he showed against Felipe. Vanderaa is a striker/wrestler type, who will look to step forward to close the distance with his hands and then get hold of you to put you on the ground. He has a big height and reach advantage meaning Tafa will have to take risks to step inside.

Despite that, I don’t think Vanderaa will be able to get a finish. If Tafa lands a heavy shot or two early on it could cause big problems, but Vanderra should be able to use his size and experience to see out a pretty comfortable win.
PICK – Jared Vanderra via Decision

Yan Xiaonan (13-1 1NC) vs Carla Esparza (18-6) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

A huge fight at the top of the strawweight division between a touted future champion against the inaugral champ of the weight class. Xiaonan is on a six-fight win streak and undefeated in her last 12 fights, with an impressive win over Claudia Gadelha back at UFC Vegas 13, while Esparza has won four-in-a-row including a split decision over Marina Rodriguez at UFC Fight Island 3 last summer.

Xiaonan is a great striker, with terrific speed and solid kicks to go with some brilliant takedown defence. That will be put to the test though against Esparza, who’s biggest strength is her wrestling skills. She can get you to the ground and control the top position, with decent strikes and submission skills. Xiaonan’s path to victory is clearly on the feet, with decent power although all her UFC fights thus far have gone the distance.

Ultimately it comes down to whether or not Esparza can put Xiaonan on her back and keep her there, but I’d be very shocked if that’s the case. Expect Xiaonan to piece her up on the feet and deny the takedown attempts to cruise to a huge win on the judge’s scorecards.
PICK – Yan Xiaonan via Decision

Rob Font (18-4) vs Cody Garbrandt (12-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An absolute banger of a main event that will almost certainly be the fight of the night as Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt do battle at 135lbs. Font is coming off the back of a three-fight win streak, with a stunning first-round knockout over Marlon Moraes last time out at UFC Vegas 17, while Garbrandt snapped a three-fight knockout loss streak with a stunning knockout win over Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250.

Both Font and Garbrandt are boxing heavy fighters, with terrific hand speed and legitimate one-punch power. Font is the technically cleaner fighter of the two, working behind his jab with great footwork and combinations, while Gabrandt is quicker and more powerful but a bit looser with his technique. Font’s biggest win came in his last fight and while impressive on paper, Moraes has proved to be rather chinny in recent fights and that’s definitely something to consider. Garbrandt’s three losses were all by knockout because he refused to fight smart but we’ve seen his brilliance in the past and he looked much better against Assuncao too.

It’s a super even fight, between two guys who will feel they can beat the other at what they do best. For Font, he’s never been knocked out in the past but also never had to go five rounds. Despite that, I think Garbrandt’s past of being knocked out viciously could play against him in this one. Font hits hard and clean and with his speed to counter, I think he gets the biggest win of his career.
PICK – Rob Font via Knockout, Round 3

UFC Vegas 27: Font vs Garbrandt – Prelims predictions

Bantamweights lead the way at UFC Vegas 27 this weekend when Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt go toe to toe in the main event.

The number three and four ranked 135lbers in the world will battle it out to give UFC president Dana White a headache when it comes to the top of the division right now, as ‘No Love’ looks to prove he really is back while Font looks to prove he’s a real contender among the elite.

Elsewhere on the card Yan Xiaonan takes on Carla Esparza in the co-main event to potentially determine the next contender for Rose Namajunas’ strawweight title, while Jack Hermansson and Edmen Shahbazyan meet in their delayed middleweight scrap too.

Last week at UFC 262 we didn’t have the best of nights prediction wise, going 6/12 with two perfect picks to move up to 314/494 (63.56%) with 136 perfect picks (43.31%).

We’ll look to improve that here with this 13-fight card, and after picking the early prelims here we move onto the rest of the prelims now.


Bruno Silva (11-5-2) vs Victor Rodriguez (7-3) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

An absolute banger at flyweight as two bulldozers meet in the octagon here. Silva bounced back from two defeats in a row to get a big knockout win over JP Buys at UFC Vegas 22 in March, while Rodriguez lost his debut in spectacular fashion to Adrian Yanez back in October at UFC Vegas 12.

Silva is a powerhouse at 125lbs, with great striking and some nasty body kicks to go with some great grappling skills. Rodriguez is highly rated because he has crazy knockout power, with all his wins coming via knockout. Aside from that, he doesn’t offer much in the way of beating Silva. ‘Bulldog’ has the advantage in speed, power, technique and experience, as well as having fought and beaten better competition more recently.

It seems a pretty one-sided fight where Rodriguez’s chances are landing the big shot first in a fire-fight, but I can’t see Silva not getting an impressive win.
PICK – Bruno Silva via Knockout, Round 2

Court McGee (20-10) vs Claudio Silva (14-2) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Two veterans go toe to toe in the welterweight division as ‘The Crusher’ takes on ‘Hannibal’ in an intriguing fight. McGee has lost five of his last six, including his last three in a row to Dhiego Lima, Sean Brady and Carlos Condit. Silva on the other hand was on a 14-fight win streak which included the likes of Leon Edwards before he got beaten via decision by James Krause at UFC Fight Island 6 last October.

McGee’s best attributes are his physical gifts. He has brilliant cardio and a fantastic chin, with his wrestling getting set up by his striking in the clinch and ability to close the distance. Silva is a jiu-jitsu freak on the mat, with nine submission wins in his career which makes this fight a very interesting stylistic match up.

Both guys will want the fight on the ground, meaning the stand up will be extra important. McGee has that slight edge on the feet but I think Silva will be more likely to get the takedown at some point and his top control is so good he should be able to edge out a win.
PICK – Claudio Silva via Decision

Ben Rothwell (38-13) vs Chris Barnett (21-6) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Big banger at heavyweight as Ben Rothwell steps in on short notice to take on debutant ‘Huggy Bear’ Chris Barnett. Rothwell was beaten last time out by Marcin Tybura and was supposed to fight against Phillipe Lins just two weeks ago, while Barnett steps in on short notice himself to replace Askar Mozharov on a six-fight win streak.

Rothwell is the typical heavyweight, with a big overhand right and some okay cardio with a decent chin. Barnett is as far from that as you can get, with a Tae Kwon Do background, who throws spinning kicks and has incredible athleticism for a 5ft 9′ heavyweight. He also has brilliant power, with 16 knockout wins in his career and has never really had cardio issues despite what you’d think looking at his body type.

With that said, Rothwell’s recent performances haven’t been good and while he hasn’t been KO’d since his UFC debut back in 2009 I do think Barnett’s unorthodox approach could take everyone by surprise and he could make headlines with a big finish. Rothwell has the ability to make this boring and just suffocate Barnett with pressure to get a win himself, but I’m going with the more exciting option.
PICK – Chris Barnett via Knockout, Round 1

Ricardo Ramos (14-3) vs Bill Algeo (14-5) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A very, very fun fight at featherweight is the featured prelim bout between Ricardo Ramos and Bill Algeo. Ramos lost his last bout via knockout against Lerone Murphy on Fight Island last July, while Algeo lost his UFC debut to Ricardo Lamas before winning last time out against Spike Carlyle.

Ramos is a dynamic striker with the ability to achieve true violence both on the feet and on the mat with good submission skills too, while Algeo has got an attitude that is just that he can hit you harder than you can hit him. Algeo has so many defensive deficiencies on the feet that Ramos could pick him apart at range, but Algeo’s pressure is relentless and we’ve seen Ramos’ gas tank empty out in the past.

With that said, it’s hard to look beyond Ramos just using his technical qualities to out-land Algeo on the feet and trust his skills on the mat if the fight ends up down there too.
PICK – Ricardo Ramos via Decision

UFC Vegas 27: Font vs Garbrandt – Early prelims predictions

Bantamweights lead the way at UFC Vegas 27 this weekend when Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt go toe to toe in the main event.

The number three and four ranked 135lbers in the world will battle it out to give UFC president Dana White a headache when it comes to the top of the division right now, as ‘No Love’ looks to prove he really is back while Font looks to prove he’s a real contender among the elite.

Elsewhere on the card Yan Xiaonan takes on Carla Esparza in the co-main event to potentially determine the next contender for Rose Namajunas’ strawweight title, while Jack Hermansson and Edmen Shahbazyan meet in their delayed middleweight scrap too.

Last week at UFC 262 we didn’t have the best of nights prediction wise, going 6/12 with two perfect picks to move up to 314/494 (63.56%) with 136 perfect picks (43.31%).

We’ll look to improve that here with this 13-fight card, starting with the early prelims here.


Rafael Alves (19-9) vs Damir Ismagulov (19-2) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A very fun lightweight bout to open the card up as Alves makes his debut to take on Russian Ismagulov. Alves got the call to come into the UFC after winning on the Contender Series, but then missed weight by a crazy 11.5lbs for his debut a few months ago after he got some tragic personal news. Ismagulov is on a 14-fight win streak, including his three UFC fights – the last one coming in August 2019.

Alves is a very tricky, unorthodox striker with good submission offence too splitting his 14 finishes equally via knockout or tap out. Ismagulov is a very well-rounded fighter, with excellent grappling skills on the mat to go with some steady fundamentals on the feet too. While Alves is explosive and powerful himself, Ismagulov just tends to dominate his opponents and we’ve not seen him have to come out of second gear for the most part.

Overall, this fight is set up for a good welcome back for Ismagulov. He’s better technically across the board and while Alves has the power advantage to potentially land a game changing shot out of nowhere, Ismagulov should be able to out class him for a wide decision.
PICK – Damir Ismagulov via Decision

Yancy Medeiros (15-7) vs Damir Hadzovic (13-6) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Likely a ‘loser leaves UFC’ bout at 155lbs here as former fan favourite Yancy Medeiros takes on Damir Hadzovic with both men on losing streaks. Medeiros has lost his last three in a row to Donald Cerrone, Gregor Gillespie and Lando Vannata, while Hadzovic has lost two in a row to Christos Giagos and Renato Moicano.

Medeiros’ record recently doesn’t look great, but he’s lost to only very capable fighters. He’s a great, technical striker with power in his hands and feet and has good wrestling to back himself too unless he’s coming up against someone as elite as Gillespie. Hadzovic isn’t elite at anything, and will look to step in and have a straight up fire-fight in the octagon.

If that’s the case, Medeiros should fancy his chances. Hadzovic has been finished twice in his last two and while he has decent power himself, I think Medeiros still has the tools to use his big reach advantage for a decision.
PICK – Yancy Medeiros via Decision

Josh Culibao (8-1-1) vs Sha Yilan (17-6) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A very fun featherweight bout between the hot prospect Culibao against UFC debutant Sha Yilan. Culibao entered the UFC at 8-0, but was beaten by Jalin Turner in his debut before a split draw against Charles Jourdain last time out. Yilan has won seven of his last eight fights with six finishes including his last two in a row.

Culibao has fantastic power in his hands and prefers to stand and strike with his opponents, knocking out five of his opponents. He uses his jab well and has a great uppercut too, which is something the wrestling heavy Yilan must watch out for. Yilan will wrestle the entire fight, looking for takedown after takedown to control position and land some big ground and pound. On the feet though, Yilan is like a fish out of water.

If Culibao is able to prevent the takedown, it’s his fight to lose and I expect he’ll be able to get the finish on the feet too.
PICK – Josh Culibao via Knockout, Round 2

Is Cody Garbrandt really back or is Rob Font going to prove he’s the real deal?

The top of the bantamweight division right now is a little congested and it’s about to get even worse at UFC Vegas 27 this weekend.

With Aljamain Sterling currently recovering from neck surgery after winning the 135lbs championship via disqualification against Petr Yan at UFC 259. Because of the nature of the ending of the bout, there is expected to be a rematch once Sterling is cleared to fight again.

Just below them is the number two ranked contender Cory Sandhagen, who was scheduled to fight against TJ Dillashaw earlier this month only for the former champion to withdraw from the fight due to a cut received in training.

With that fight almost certain to determine who the next title contender is, it makes this weekend’s huge fight between Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt even more interesting.

The number three and four ranked bantamweights in the world clash in the main event of UFC Vegas 27, with both men coming into it off the back of super impressive performances. Font is on a three-fight win streak that got topped off with a brilliant first-round knockout against former title challenger Marlon Moraes at UFC Vegas 17 in December.

Garbrandt on the other hand recovered from a three-fight skid with a stunning knockout of Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 last June, before he saw a title fight at flyweight against Deiveson Figueiredo fall through due to injury.

Instead he’s hung around at his more natural weight class and taken a fight against one of the most lethal strikers in the division, where a win will give Dana White a real headache when it comes to what to do next.

It was a fantastic performance from ‘No Love’ last time out, as he bobbed and weaved through Assuncao’s power with an excellent jab and great footwork before ducking down and landing a huge haymaker to end the fight on the buzzer.

That came after three consecutive knockout defeats, where Dillashaw turned his lights out twice before Pedro Munhoz poured the pressure on and won in a firefight. It was a more mature performance from Garbrandt as he was patient behind his strikes and looked to avoid getting his head taken off, rather than trying to walk through it.

But when he comes up against Font it will be a whole new ball game. The 33-year-old has earned a reputation as one of the best boxers in the entire UFC, never mind the bantamweight division, and when he throws it comes with venom and accuracy.

That’s a recipe for disaster for Garbrandt, who has been prone to going down against power punchers and leaving his chin in the air. But considering the new maturity of performance he showed against Assuncao, this is a great chance for him to show if he really is back or if the criticism he received for “handpicking an opponent” was justified.

If he’s able to survive the test that a game Font will put on for him, then he’ll be deserving of all the praise that will undoubtedly come his way. If he gets iced by Font however, it will show that he has a huge issue against the elite of the division and that his title win may have just been a timing thing rather than him ever being the top dog.

For Font, a win shows he belongs at the top of the division and that is ranking isn’t a false position and his next fight could well be against one of Yan, Sandhagen or Dillashaw before a potential title fight himself.

He could either fall flat on his face against a former champion, which is no shame, or beat one and do himself no harm.

It’s without a doubt going to be a banger of a fight and one that will have huge repercussions at the top of the division for both men. Don’t miss it.