Despite going under the radar after the massive UFC 262 pay-per-view, UFC Vegas 27 is packed with premium talent and will kick off on May 22.
The much-anticipated return of former champion Cody Garbrandt is back after a long hiatus against the fast-hitting Rob Font. Additionally, the co-main event will see rising Chinese powerhouse Xiaonan Yan taking on former champion Carla Esparza in a very important strawweight fight. Without a doubt, there is a definite possibility that the Esparza and Yan fight is an informal de-facto number-one contender’s bout, as the Chinese athlete is ranked number three with little room to advance.
Taking place inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, all of the fights will be broadcasted on ESPN+ starting at 04:00 PM ET. However, there is undoubtedly a lot of pressure on the main and co-main event, as a win could mean a title opportunity in 2021.
UFC Vegas 27 Main Event Preview – Cody Garbrandt Vs. Rob Font
The bantamweight gunslinger Cody Garbrandt has run into some bad luck. While his warrior mentality at times got in his way, the 29-year old is excited to showcase the new adjustments and evolutions he’s made after scoring a spectacular walk-off knockout against perennial contender Raphael Assunção.
Prior to being matched with top featherweight Rob Font, Cody Garbrandt, unfortunately, suffered from nasty lingering effects caused by COVID-19. With blood clots, pneumonia, and mental fog, first, and foremost, the former champion made the right move in for handling his health issues in an immediate manner.
Despite being older than Garbrandt, Font, 33, comes into the fight with heaps of experience. While Cody Garbrandt reached the pinnacle of the sport at a young point in his life, perhaps it’s Font’s time now, not to mention he is on an impressive three-fight winning streak. The signature crisp boxing Font possesses is by design. The rising bantamweight cuts his teeth with Calvin Kattar at team New England Cartel in Boston, Massachusetts. The slick striking acumen of both fighters is always a luxury to watch and fans can expect a high-stakes mental battle with dire physical consequences at UFC Vegas 27.
Co-Main Event – Carla Esparza vs. Xiaonan Preview
After her controversial win against Marina Rodriguez, last year at Fight Island, like it or not but Carla Esparza’s skills are hard to deny in the cage. After all, the strawweight is now riding high on a four-fight win streak. With wins over Michelle Waterson and Alexa Grasso, Esparza has made it clear she’s not a stepping stone for the younger generation. In fact, if she can get past Yan, her title aspirations could be realized sooner than we all thought.
The former champ will have her hands full because Yan has not lost a fight in over ten years. Following Xiaonan Yan’s victory over the former two-time title challenger, Cláudia Gadelha certainly opened the eyes of many MMA fans. Yan has yet to lose inside the Octagon and has faced very solid competition, like Angela Hill and Karolina Kowalkiewicz (both of which she bested by standing for the most part).
Specifically, when Yan looks to end the fight, she does so with her punches, as she doesn’t have any submissions to her name. Overall, the Chinese native has a keen sense of when to engage and is risk-averse regarding taking any unnecessary punishment. One reason why she has amassed so much success is because of her ability to calculate risk during a fight. We’ll see if her success continues this Saturday against Carla Esparza.
Without a doubt, the main event and co-main event will provide clarity for the divisional hierarchy in the days ahead.
If you had to pick, which fight at UFC Vegas 27 will win a bonus? Let us know!