One of a handful of debuting fighters on Saturday’s UFC Vegas 27 card was China’s Yilan Sha. The 27-year old known as “Wolverine,” a pro since 2016, was paired up with Josh Culibao in what was, on paper, a very competitive fight.
To start the fight, Yilan quickly put Culibao against the fence. Culiabo defended well while staying calm. He wound up elevated, but had good balance and was tripped briefly but got back up. Yilan had the back momentarily but Culibao fought the hands and got back to his feet. Still, Yilan had four minutes of cage control before Culibao was able to escape. Culibao in the last minute looked comfortable landing from the outside with a few nice leg kicks.
Much more separation in the beginning of round two. Culibao was doing a nice job picking his shots while throwing a lot of feints. Yilan was trying to find that one big shot and had trouble closing the distance in round two. Culibao started to put it together attacking the leg kicks, landing his right hand, and showing effective movement. Yilan put Culibao against the cage in the final seconds but it was Culibao that took the back and got a brief takedown.
A good jab and a calf kick found a home for Culibao more and more at the beginning of round three. Yilan attempting to just blitz in but was getting caught with the right hand coming in by Culibao. Midways in the final round Yilan grabbed a leg and put Culibao against the cage. Yilan looking to grind out the final minute Culibao used a ninja choks to escape and separate. Another failed takedown from Yilan to end the fight.
The win was Culibao’s first inside the octagon, as he now has a 1-1-1 promotional record.
Official Result: Josh Culibao def. Sha Yilan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)