UFC Vegas 27’s most relevant fight may actually be the card’s co-main event.
While the Fight Night event is topped by Rob Font taking on former champ Cody Garbrandt in a bantamweight affair, the penultimate bout of the evening saw China’s Yan Xiaonan booked opposite Carla Esparza. That strawweight showdown was widely believed to be an unofficial title eliminator, given the recent shake-up in the division.
With “Thug” Rose Namajunas once again holding gold, the winner of Xiaonan vs. Esparza was likely to feature heavily in the division’s future. China’s Xiaonan had won six straight under the UFC banner, perfect since joining the promotion. The only knock on her, a lack of finishes, as all six fights had gone the distance. That said, wins over Claudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Angela Hill were hard to argue against.
“The Cookie Monster” Esparza, meanwhile, was finally back in contention over six years after claiming the UFC’s inaugural 115lb title. Having won four straight, a victory over Xiaonan would likely complete her path back to the title. As with the Chinese fighter, the only knock on Esparza has been the lack of finishes.
Just one fighter was heavy on Friday, and that was very short-notice placement Juancamilo Ronderos. He’ll likely get a pass from the promotion for that flub given he took the fight on less than a day’s notice.
UFC Vegas 27: Font vs. Garbrandt Weigh-In Results
Bantamweight: Rob Font (136) vs. Cody Garbrandt (135.5)
Women’s Strawweight: Yan Xiaonan (116) vs. Carla Esparza (116)
Heavyweight: Justin Tafa (265.5) vs. Jared Vanderaa (264)
Women’s Featherweight: Felicia Spencer (145) vs. Norma Dumont Viana (146)
Flyweight: David Dvořák (126)
vs. Raulian Paiva Juancamilo Ronderos (128.5)*
Middleweight: Jack Hermansson (186) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (185)
Featherweight: Ricardo Ramos (146) vs. Bill Algeo (145.5)
Heavyweight: Ben Rothwell (265.5) vs. Chris Barnett (263)
Welterweight: Court McGee (170.5) vs. Cláudio Silva (169.5)
Flyweight: Bruno Gustavo da Silva (125.5) vs. Victor Rodriguez (125.5)
Featherweight: Josh Culibao (146) vs. Sha Yilan (146)
Lightweight: Damir Hadžović (156) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155)
Lightweight: Rafael Alves (154.5) vs. Damir Ismagulov (155.5)
* Ronderos missed weight by 2.5lbs. He replaced Paiva on short notice.