Carla Esparza and Rob Font emerged as contenders in both the strawweight and bantamweight divisions, check out how that happened with all the highlights, reactions, and bonuses from UFC Vegas 27 — this is your fight night roundup.
UFC Fight Night 27 Highlights: Rob Font emerges as a bantamweight contender, and more
Rob Font def. Cody Garbrandt via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 48-47)
After getting taken down a few times in the first round, Rob Font managed to use his jab to dominate over the course of the five-round fight. A very impressive performance from the Boston-based fighter, and firmly establish himself as a contender in the talent-rich bantamweight division.
Carla Esparza def. Xiaonan Yan via Technical Knockout (Rd. 2 2:59)
In a one-sided beat down, Carla Esparza stated her case to get another shot at the UFC strawweight title she once held. Esparza secured her first takedown just seconds into the first round, and she spent almost the entire fight in top position, and after brutal ground and pound, that cut Xiaonan multiple times and got the finish.
Jared Vanderaa def. Justin Tafa via Unaniamous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
In a fight that was a blood-soaked slobberknocker, Jared Vanderaa got the decision over Justin Tafa. Vanderaa got cut in the second round which while not being very big, produced an astounding amount of blood, which made the fight look better than it was, but was still a pretty fun if incredibly sloppy heavyweight bout.
Norma Dumont def. Felicia Spencer via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
In a fight that never really got out of first gear, Norma Dumont took the decision over former title challenger Felicia Spencer. Dumont displayed sharp boxing and secured a takedown in the third round to secure the victory. Dumont may be looking to drop to bantamweight in the future, but wherever she winds up she has the look of a potential contender.
Ricardo Ramos def. Bill Algeo via Unaniamous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
In a sloppy but competitive and fun fight, Ricardo Ramos won his debut at featherweight by edging out a decision over Bill Algeo. Ramos was able to get Algeo to the mat at will, but he was never able to secure long stretches of control, while Algeo probably had the better of the fight while standing. Good fight, that was closer than the scores.
Jack Hermansson def. Edmen Shabazyan via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Edmen Shabazyan came out strong in the first round and was dealing serious damage to Jack Hermansson, but once the fight turned to the second round, it was a totally different story. Hermansson quickly secured the takedown in both of the next two rounds, and after punishing ground and pound, got the decision victory.
A dominant ending to RD 3 -- pic.twitter.com/EwmuXvmsNh— UFC (@ufc) May 22, 2021
-- 'The Joker' earns his 9️⃣th victory inside the Octagon!@JackTheJokerMMA is now TIED with the middleweight champ for most wins in the division!— UFC (@ufc) May 22, 2021
[ #UFCVegas27 LIVE on @ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/ogkLd6clhq
Ben Rothwell def. Chris Barnett via Submission (Guillotine Choke) (Rd. 2 2:07)
Ben Rothwell gave Chris "Huggy Bear" Barnett a rough start to his UFC career. The 5'9 Barnett is a sight to behold with his spins, and Superman punches, but Rothwell looked absolutely fantastic marching him down, and scoring heavy blows before finishing the show with a choke.
Court McGee def. Claudio Silva via Unaniamous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
Court McGee turned back the clock and put on one of the best performances of his career dominating Claudio Silva en route to a one-sided decision victory. Silva pushed for takedowns the entire fight, hoping to take advantage of his jiu-jitsu, but McGee punished him whenever he couldn't, and by the time he eventually did he was too tired to secure any control.
Bruno Silva def. Victor Rodriguez via Technical Knockout (Rd. 1 1:00)
It took exactly a minute for Brazil's Bruno Silva to secure his second knockout in just over a month's time. Not much to this fight, Silva hit Rodriguez hard, and the fight got stopped.
Josh Culibao def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke via Unaniamous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Josh Culibao spent most of the first round stuffing takedowns from China's Shayilan Nuerdanbieke, but from that point forward Culibao was able to keep the fight at range and piece up the debuting Nuerdanbieke, and coast to a safe decision victory.
David Dvořák def. Juancamilo Ronderos via Submission (One-Armed Rear-Naked Choke) (Rd. 1 2:18)
Last-minute replacement Juancamilo Ronderos was quickly disposed of by David Dvořák to extend his personal winning streak to 16. Dvořák's squeeze to get the finish with just a one-arm was quite impressive.
Damir Ismagulov def. Rafael Alves via Unaniamous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafael Alves came out firing, but a few ill-advised guillotine attempts led to Alves decisively losing the first two rounds, and Ismagulov coasted to a decision win after that.
UFC Vegas 27 Bonuses
Fight of the Night was awarded to the wild bloody brawl between Justin Tafa and Jared Vanderaa, with each of them taking home the newly increased $75k bonus cheque. While the Performances of the Night bonuses were awarded to Carla Esparza for her dominant win over Xiaonan Yan in the co-main event, and Bruno Silva for his quick knockout of Victor Rodriguez on the undercard.
Pros React To Font Outpacing Garbrandt
Rob Font's peers from around the UFC weigh in on his impressive striking performance vs. Cody Garbrandt.
Great fight so far Cody is listening to coach bully— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) May 23, 2021
A lot of Danger in this fight! #UFCVegas27— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) May 23, 2021
1-1! Let’s gooo!! #UFCVegas27— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 23, 2021
Rob was on the hunt that round! #UFCVegas27— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) May 23, 2021
Loving this fight. So technical in all areas bjj, striking, wrestling! ------------ #UFCVegas27— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) May 23, 2021
Wonder how much Cody's performance was affected by him being sick last year. Cause I've never really seen Cody ever fatigued. #UFC— Adrian Yanez (@yanezmma) May 23, 2021
Font doing some real subtle yet effective changes every few jabs he throws. Making it difficult for Cody to get a good read on it #UFCVegas27— Vince Morales (@vandetta135) May 23, 2021
Cody needs a finish here. Can’t ever count out a former champion, especially of this division. Font on point and controlling the tempo #UFCVegas27— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 23, 2021
New England Cartel boxing is crisp #UFCVegas27— Kyle Daukaus (@KyleDaukaus) May 23, 2021
Rob Font basically came out of nowhere . This dude is a well rounded , highly skilled fighter! #UFCVegas27— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) May 23, 2021
The Bantamweight Division is STACKED!!! #UFCVegas27— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 23, 2021
Dominant performance by @RobSFont .. great jab, nice fakes, controlled the distance beautifully. Patience. Composure. Well done man!— Lando Vannata (@GroovyLando) May 23, 2021
48-47 . Who sippin -- on the job ! #UFCVegas27— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) May 23, 2021
Pros React To Esparza Dominating Xiaonan
Her fellow UFC fighters react to Carla Esparza's absolute domination of Xiaonan Yan in their potential #1 contender fight.
Wow! This version of Carla Esparza is dangerous! Yan came in way too aggressive and gave up a wide open TD. #UFCVegas27— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 23, 2021
Masterclass performance from Carla tonight! Timing was on point, and chain wrestled when she needed to. #UFCVegas27— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 23, 2021
Amazing finish by Carla ---- ----#UFCVegas27— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) May 23, 2021
Daaang, Carla was playing no games, she deserves a title shot after that dominant performance.— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) May 23, 2021
Carla making a statement— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) May 23, 2021
@CarlaEsparza1 beast!— Dan “50k” Ige (@Dynamitedan808) May 23, 2021
Carla on those takedowns early ---- #UFCVegas27— Ricky Simón (@RickySimonUFC) May 23, 2021
UFC Vegas 27 Post-Fight Press Conference
Check out the full post-fight press conference in the wake of UFC Vegas 27.
Rob Font says he "definitely doesn't want to fight backwards" but has to wait for the division to clear up #UFCVegas27— Fightful MMA (@FightfulMMA) May 23, 2021
Rob Font was surprised by Cody Garbrandt's chin: "Come on man" #UFCVegas27— Fightful MMA (@FightfulMMA) May 23, 2021