UFC Vegas 27: Font vs. Garbrandt Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2021

UFC Vegas 27: Font vs. Garbrandt Odds, Schedule, Predictions

0 of 4

    John Locher/Associated Press

    Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt makes a long-awaited return to the Octagon Saturday to fight Rob Font in the main event of UFC Vegas 27 from the UFC's APEX Facility. 

    Garbrandt has been sidelined for nearly a year. In that time, No Love has dealt with a torn bicep as well as complications from COVID-19. While he was slated to fight Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title during that time, he will remain at 135 pounds for now. 

    He'll be welcomed back into the cage by Rob Font, winner of his last three fights, including a first-round TKO of Marlon Moraes in December.

    The six-fight main card features a few more notable bouts, as Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan will meet in the co-main event, and a rare women's featherweight bout will take place between Felicia Spencer and Norma Dumont Viana. 

    Here's a look at the entire card, the latest odds and a closer look at some of the biggest matchups. 

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds—May 22

1 of 4

    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Main Card (ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET)

    • Rob Font (-110; bet $110 to win $100) vs. Cody Garbrandt (-110)
    • Yan Xiaonan (-125) vs. Carla Esparza (+100)
    • Justin Tafa (-190) vs. Jared Vanderaa (+150)
    • Felicia Spencer (-186) vs. Norma Dumont Viana (+150)
    • Ricardo Ramos (+100) vs. Bill Algeo (-125)
    • Jack Hermansson (-162) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (+130)

    Prelims (ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET)

    • Ben Rothwell (-335) vs. Chris Barnett (+250)
    • Court McGee (-113) vs. Claudio Silva (-110)
    • Bruno Silva (-400) vs. Victor Rodriguez (+300)
    • Josh Culibao (-250) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (+195)
    • David Dvorak (-500) vs. Juancamilo Ronderos (+355)
    • Yancy Medeiros (+105) vs. Damir Hadzovic (-129)
    • Rafael Alves (+400) vs. Damir Ismagulov (-560)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Garbrandt vs. Font

2 of 4

    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The UFC did Garbrandt no favors pairing him with Font in his return to the cage.

    The Massachusetts native should have no shortage of confidence amid his current winning streak. It's his longest since joining the UFC in 2014. The competition has been strong in the run as well—Ricky Simon, Serio Pettis and Moraes are each dangerous with a different skill set. Font has just been on a run. 

    Garbrandt—on the other hand—has seen much higher highs than Font has. When Garbrandt is patient and composed, he's among the most lethal forces in the division. The problems have come when he rushes to unleash his prodigious power and gets sloppy. 

    The last time we saw the 29-year-old he seemed to have regained the form that once made him a champion. He unleashed a hellish hook that put down Raphael Assuncao and snapped a three-fight losing streak.

    The primary question here is whether the ailments that have plagued Garbrandt have halted his momentum. Garbrandt at the top of his game is better than Font at the top of his. 

    However, Font is an all-terrain, all-purpose fighter. If Garbrandt gets sloppy or loses focus, Font is capable of capitalizing, thus the tight odds. 

    Prediction: Garbrandt via second-round TKO

Xiaonan vs. Esparza

3 of 4

    Jim Young/Associated Press

    The main event isn't the only fight featuring a former champion with title implications. Former strawweight champion Carla Esparza has continued to fight her way up the rankings to get back to that spot.

    Six years after losing the strap, she's closer than she's ever been. She is on a four-fight win streak that puts her at No. 4 in the rankings, with wins over Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez in that time frame. 

    As usual, Esparza's wrestling has played a role in those wins. There have been improvements to her striking that are notable, too. Even at 33 she continues to evolve and shouldn't be discounted from getting a shot at the champion. 

    Xiaonan is an interesting contender. She doesn't do anything as well as Esparza wrestles, yet she's on a six-fight win streak and is the slight favorite in this situation. 

    That's likely because we just watched her pick up a unanimous decision win over Claudia Gadelha. The Brazilian is similar to Esparza but is arguably stronger and more powerful. 

    Xiaonan was proficient enough in her wrestling defense to keep things on the feet where she held the advantage. 

    Both are on hot streaks right now, but her Gadelha fight is the closest analog to this one. 

    Prediction: Xiaonan via decision

Tafa vs. Vanderaa

4 of 4

    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    The main event and co-main event are important fights that will have an immediate impact at the top of their respective divisions. This one is just fun. 

    Justin Tafa is a relatively polished striker as far as heavyweights go. He's a high-volume striker who can mix things up and has multiple ways to approach breaking down his opponent. He also has some grappling to boot. 

    Jared Vanderaa, on the other hand, is the much larger fighter with a bit of a wild side. He'll have a four-inch height advantage and has only seen a decision once in his last six fights. His bouts are typically a kill-or-be-killed proposition. 

    The style of fight that takes place should tell us a lot about who is going to win. A slower, more technical fight favors Tafa. A brawl favors Vanderaa. 

    Vanderaa's ability to create chaos, his size and power are enough to cause the small upset. 

    Prediction: Vanderaa via first-round TKO


    If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

    Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or call or text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN).

    21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.