UFC Vegas 27 took place May 22 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Rob Font (19-4) and Cody Garbrandt (12-4) collided in a bantamweight fight in the co-main event, which aired live on ESPN+. Catch more video highlights below.
For more on Font vs. Garbrandt, check out the live blog from MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Garbrandt comes out in orthodox with Font switching stances a lot immediately. Garbrandt is in the center and trying to cut Font off and Font is moving around a ton.
Good low kick from Garbrandt is the first strike of the fight and we’re seeing a ton of footwork from both men early. Now Font is cutting the cage and looking to work behind he jab but Garbrandt is on his bike.
Garbrandt lands a good jab and now he’s leading the dance again as Font has settled into an orthodox stance. Still nothing major landed on either side though but as I say that Font lands an overhand right that stumbles Garbrandt! Garbrandt on the retreat now and Font in pursuit but a big swing back from Garbrandt backs Font off.
Garbrandt seems to be fine now though and the dance resumes. Font and Garbrandt both miss hooks and Font stumbles down then goes for a single leg but Garbrandt shucks him off and throws a high kick that gets blocked. Back in space, Font lands another right hand that backs Garbrandt up but as Font pursues, Garbrandt gets a double leg and scores a takedown.
Not much work on top though and Font is able to get up and Font is right back in charge here. Font lands another clean right hand and he’s tagging Garbrandt who is not taking those shots all that well. Now Garbrandt is against the cage and Font is being patient but as he steps in again Garbrandt gets a single-leg takedown. Font is against the fence and is able to stand but eats a few shots in doing so.
Back in space, Font is marching Garbrandt down and landing the right hand but Garbrandt now throws back a huge uppercut that lands and stops the momentum before the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Font.
Garbrandt is getting tagged on the feet and he doesn’t like it. More importantly though, Font seemed to be able to eat the shots coming back without too much issue. If Garbrandt can’t back Font up, this is going to be a long night for him.
Round 2 starts with Font again pressing the action and lands a body kick but on the next salvo, Garbrandt rushes him and gets a double-leg in space. Now he’s got Garbrandt down in the center of the cage. Unlike the co-main event though, Font is staying wily on the bottom and Garbrandt is having a tough time keeping him down.
Font creates a scramble but Garbrandt is equal to it and steps to half guard, but Font snags a kimura from the bottom and now Garbrandt is on defense. Garbrandt using his head to defend and he’s able to step over to side control but Font stays on the arm and is able to use it to get back to the feet.
On the feet, Font slips a shot and lands another right hand and Garbrandt rshes in on a double-leg but can’t get this one. Font cutting the cage and working the jab beautifully. He’s throwing one and two jabs and then cracking Garbrandt with the right hand and this is easily the most tentative we’ve ever seen Garbrandt on the feet. He’s also loading up on the counter right and swinging huge with it. If it lands, could be bad news for Font but it’s a bit telegraphed.
Font still using the jab to dictate the pace and Garbrandt is on the defensive. In the pocket the two start swinging but neither lands big due to solid head movement from both but Font does land a good elbow and Font is controlling this one now. Font has his rhythm and Garbrandt is in full retreat.
Garbrandt lands a good counter uppercut but I’m not sure he can actually hurt Font who is just walking through the return fire. More pressure from Font and Garbrandt goes for a takedown but gets stuffed again as the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Font, 20-18 Font overall.
Garbrandt’s face is showing a bit of damage here and his body language is not the best. Font looking invigorated and he comes out with a lot of pressure and jabbing. Garbrandt lands a good leg kick but Font is still backing Garbrandt up at will. Garbrandt also moving less cleanly now, with big movements instead of sharp footwork.
Font pressing still and now Garbrandt is trying to sit down on some counters, I would guess in the hope of stopping this pressure but thus far Font is still coming forward. Garbrandt throws a big counter, Font fades it and lands a good uppercut in return that forces Garbrandt to shoot but Font shucks it and now Font takes the back with Garbrandt standing against the fence.
Garbrandt turns into Font but Font is holding the body lock in the clinch. Garbrandt tries to roll out of that but Font stays with him and he’s on top in Ali-Inoki position but Garbrandt steps up and now it’s striking again.
Font feinting super well and backing Garbrandt up but Garbrandt is able to land a clean right hand counter. Font eats it though and Garbrandt shoots but Font sprawls out on the single leg and gets back to the feet. Garbrandt breathing heavy out of his mouth now though and Font lands a big body shot that gets Garbrandt to waive him in for a brawl. Feels like Garbrandt knows he’s in trouble now and he’s really loading up on shots now with his hands by his waist. This tactic has historically not worked out well for him though.
Font not getting baited into a brawl though and he’s still sniping Garbrandt with the jab. He’s landing his right hand less though as Garbrandt seems to be able to see that coming more readily and he’s slipping the second shot. The round ends with Font still on the offensive.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Font, 30-27 Font overall.
Garbrandt definitely looking a little tired to start the championship rounds and Bisping mentions that Garbrandt did have to deal with a rough case of COVID as a possible explanation. Another explanation is he’s kind of getting his ass kicked.
And that continues to start the fourth as Font is upping the pressure in this round. Still working the jab but landing good shots to the body too. Garbrandt has landed a few good leg kicks this round but it pales in comparison to the output from Font.
Garbrandt’s face looks entirely defeated and now he’s really getting pushed to the fence. Tough to land a big counter without any space. Especially as Font is not giving him any room to breath or any real opportunities to counter.
Garbrandt is now trying to own the center a little more but that’s not working well for him as when he leads the dance, Font is countering him very well. This is just a clinic in striking. Font is so well schooled and he’s got it all flowing.
Font lands a head kick! Garbrandt eats it well though and tries to turn it into a takedown but cannot and Font is right back to work. CLEAN 1-2 lands for Font but Garbrandt eats it and his face is a bloody mask now. We’ve never seen Garbrandt get tooled up like this.
Jab. Jab. Right hand. Jab. Body shot. Jab. Jab-Jab. Jab. This is surgical. Garbrandt has nothing left to offer at this point and if Font is able to land another clean right hand, that could wrap this one up.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Font, 40-36 overall.
Garbrandt’s corner tells him he needs to lead a little more and that may well be right but even when he is leading he’s been getting jawed. Plus, Garbrandt needs a finish now.
Garbrandt takes that to heart though and he comes out with a furt to start the fifth. Throwing combos and landing some shots! Clinch and Garbrandt lands a combo and that was a good flurry. Font eats it though and now he’s back to the jab and controlling the distance and pace.
Garbrandt lands a big left hook. And another. He’s picking up the pace but Font lands a good knee in the clinch. Garbrandt lands a big overhand right though but Font is entirely unfazed. Moreover, Font lands a sharp 1-2 that now gets Garbrandt moving back again.
Garbrandt steps in and Font lands a big uppercut that hurts Garbrandt. Garbrandt throws a body kick that Font catches and then just tosses him. This is a much better round for Garbrandt but Font is just big brothering him still.
Jabs from Font again but this time Garbrandt snaps a counter over the double jab that gets Font backing up for the first time. As Garbrandt comes in though Font trips him with a kick. Garbrandt stands back up immediately though but he eats a monster right hand from Font!
Jab, jab, right hand and Garbrandt is somehow not wobbled?! Font has landed cleanly on him and Garbrandt’s chin has proven up to the challenge. There’s more to come though as Font continues to tenderize Garbrandt’s face with the jab. Another overhand right lands for Font. With 10 seconds left, Garbrandt gets a trip but this one is a wrap and it’s a clear Font win.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Garbrandt, 49-46 Font overall.
Rob Font defeats Cody Garbrandt by unanimous decision (48-47, 50-45, 50-45).