UFC Vegas 27: Font vs Garbrandt Predictions
Source: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Let me start this article with my biggest, darkest, dirtiest (may be misguided) take I own regarding the sport of MMA. I believe that a mentally fit Cody Garbrandt can beat any fighter south of the 155 division. ANY FIGHTER! I don't know if that is as ridiculous as I'm trying to make it sound, but it seems any time I mention the thought, people scoff at me. Well, tonight is just another step in the road to redemption...for both Cody and me.
Also, I think I need to eat crow regarding the whole "UFC 262 is just a really good Fight Night" remark I made in my preview of that card because THIS is a really good Fight Night. 262 was most definitely worth the PPV moniker. Ironically, it did manage 300k buys domestically, which is what Garbrandt garnered in his rematch with Dillashaw. So was I right in saying it wouldn't do as well as previous events? I guess I was. But it was still an awesome card.
Enough talk! PREDICTIONS!
Rob Font vs Cody Garbrandt
I guess you know by now that I believe Garbrandt is destined to win this fight and eventually take over the world, but for the sake of this great fight, let's break it down a little. Rob Font has always been a solid fighter, but recently it seems he's shifted to a different gear. With three straight wins over three very legitimate opponents, ole' Robbie boy has earned my respect. However, is he on the talent of Garbrandt? No. No, he is not.
Now, as I said in the opening, IF Cody is right mentally (and by that, I mean doesn't abandon ship and try to cash cheques his chin cannot handle), he's a superstar. He has amazing footwork, lethally fast combinations and solid wrestling. Not many guys can hang when he's on his A-game. Also, he's now training with Mark Henry and the gang up in Jersey, so he's finally going to get the world-class training he needs to get back to the level he once was.
Simply put, Font is good, but Garbrandt is great.
Prediction: Cody Garbrandt, 2ND RD TKO
Carla Esparza vs Xiaonan Yan
Carla Esparza is an intriguing fighter. She was the UFC's first Strawweight champion, where she beat Rose in dominating fashion. Since then, though, she's been up and down in the rankings. And realistically, she could be 0-3 in her last three fights instead of 3-0. She's a great wrestler, but the rest of her game is still lacking. Her success, as always, really depends on if she can track Yan down and keep her on her back.
Yan by no means is a household name, but she has carved out quite a resume. Undefeated in her time in the UFC, Yan is about as entertaining and steady 115er as there is. She has a bag full of tricks standing and can provide some danger off her back. Although, it is a slippery slope banking on judges to look past a takedown in favour of an active guard. This is going to be a close fight.
Prediction: Xiaonan Yan, Decision
Justin Tafa vs Jared Vanderaa
A pick em' fight here. Neither guy has any glaring advantages over the other, and for two big hogs like these two gents, that usually means whoever lands first wins. However, these two aren't the bang em-out type. Tafa is quite technical for his size, and Vanderaa has a deceptive gas tank. Tough fight to pick, but I think Vanderaa's pace will propel him to a victory in this one.
Prediction: Jared Vanderaa, Decision
Felicia Spencer vs Norma Dumont
For those who have only ever seen Spencer fight Nunes, you just haven't seen the true Felicia Spencer experience. Nunes is an MMA god, so that fight can't be held against her. Her only other loss came to Cyborg, but other than that, she's been quite dominant. If she can get this fight to her era of expertise, then this should be another clinic.
Prediction: Felicia Spencer, 2ND RD SUB
Bill Algeo vs Ricardo Ramos
I think this is Algeo's fight to lose, honestly. Ramos might have a little bit of a speed edge, but other than that, Algeo should have this fight on-lock in every other department.
Prediction: Bill Algeo, Decision
Jack Hermansson vs Edmen Shahbazyan
In a classic tale of too much too soon, Edmen Shahbazyan was thrown in with a Derek Brunson, and it did not end well for the prospect. He gets no favours as he has to take on another darkhorse in the 185 division in Jack Hermansson. Edmen has a lot of skill and a lot of power. However, Brunson was able to weather the storm and control the youngster and eventually stopped him in the third.
Edmen has great pressure but doesn't really have the cardio to back that pressure up over three rounds, and against the elite, efficiency is the key to survival. For Hermansson, this is a great chance to remind people of what he's capable of, but it could also end in a destructive fashion. I wouldn't be surprised if Shahbazyan rebounds, but if he doesn't have more patience in this contest, I think Hermansson will take advantage the same way Brunson did.
Prediction: Jack Hermansson, Decision
Rest of the Card
Rothwell def Barnett
SIlva def Mcgee
Silva def Rodriguez
Culibao def Shayilan
Dvorak def Ronderos
Ismagulov def Alves
2021 Predictions Record: 75-51-2