Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt returns to action against fellow knockout artist Rob Font in the main event of UFC Vegas 27 this coming weekend at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas.
But before these two bantamweight sluggers take each other’s head off, a loaded prelims undercard will open the show in Vegas. Let’s take a look at Saturday night’s prelims undercard and make our predictions.
Ricardo Ramos is a former Elite FC bantamweight champion who joined the UFC in 2017. He is 5-2 inside the UFC’s Octagon but is coming off a loss to Lerone Murphy. The 25-year old Brazilian has a record of 14-3 with three knockouts and seven submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 72 inches.
Bill Algeo is a veteran of XFE, CFFC, and ROC, winning the world title at ROC. The 31-year old lost to Ricardo Llamas in his UFC debut but defeated Spike Carlyle in his second Octagon appearance. Algeo has a record of 14-5 with three knockouts and six submission victories. He is 6-0 tall with a 73-inch reach and is a switch-hitter.
Algeo always engages in an exciting fight with his high-paced attack and disregard for defense. Ramos on the other hand can do damage both on the feet and on the mat and with how these fighters prefer to fight, this will certainly not be the most boring fight of the evening. Algeo looks to be the stronger fighter but Ramos makes up for lack of strength with great back takes. The striking looks to be pretty much even but Ramos has a considerable edge on the ground. Using top and back control, Ramos wins by decision.
Prediction: Ricardo Ramos
Ben Rothwell was the inaugural USMMA heavyweight champion who went on an unbeaten run at IFL. The 39-year old joined the UFC in 2009 and went 2-3 in his first five Octagon assignments. Big Ben has won two out of his last three bouts but is coming off a loss to Marcin Tybura. He has a record of 38-13 with 28 knockouts and six wins via submission. Rothwell is 6-4 tall with a reach of 78 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Chris Barnett fought for Road Fighting Championship and Square Ring Promotions before joining the UFC. He last fought at UAE Warriors 13, beating Ahmed Tijanu via knockout. The 34-year old from Tampa, Florida has a record of 21-6 with 16 knockouts. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 75 inches.
Rothwell has a massive advantage in height and reach and he still has that solid chin despite his recent struggles. With those going for him, Rothwell has a good chance of winning a slugfest. There isn’t much difference between these two when it comes to speed (or the lack of it) so Rothwell’s size will be an issue for Barnett here. I think these two go at each other head-on and the bigger and more durable Big Ben prevails.
Prediction: Ben Rothwell
Court McGee was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 11 tournament. The 36-year old from Utah won his first three UFC bouts but has struggled with a 5-9 record ever since. McGee had dropped his last three bouts and he has a record of 19-10 with 5 knockouts and five submission wins. He is 5-11 tall with a reach of 75 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Claudio Silva is a veteran of BAMMA and the Super Fight League. The 38-year old Brazilian is a former WFC middleweight champion and he joined the UFC in 2014. Silva won his first five UFC bouts before losing to James Krause in his last assignment. He has a record of 14-2 with 2 knockouts and 9 submission wins. Silva is a southpaw who stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 71 inches.
McGee’s lack of physicality and ability to finish opponents has proved to be an issue for him at this weight class. Although he boasts of impressive pace, he simply can’t do enough damage with it. Meanwhile, Silva could end this fight early with a submission. If not, he will be content to putting McGee on his back and controlling him for long stretches. Silva has a questionable gas tank but I think he wins the first two rounds and hangs on to win.
Prediction: Claudio Silva
Bruno Gustavo da Silva is a former WFF flyweight champion. The 31-year old from Brazil is 1-2 with one no-contest in the UFC but is coming off a Performance of the Night effort against JP Buys last March. da Silva has a record of 11-5 with four knockouts and three submission victories. The Bulldog stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 65 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Victor Rodriguez is a veteran of Power Plant Productions and AFC before joining the UFC in 2020. The 28-year old from Alaska was knocked out by Adrian Yanez in his UFC debut and he has a record of 5-3 with all of his wins coming by way of knockout. Rodriguez is a switch hitter who is 5-5 tall and has a 67-inch reach.
Rodriguez has legit power in his hands but outside that, I don’t think he has much more to offer. With all due respect to him, he is a step-down from da Silva’s usual level of competition. For sure, Rodriguez has a puncher’s chance here but da Silva has several ways to win this fight. He can finish him on the feet or the ground with relative ease. I like da Silva’s off-striking to carry him to victory.
Prediction: Bruno Gustavo da Silva
Australia’s Josh Culibao is a veteran of Urban Fight Night and Hex Fighting Series. He joined the UFC last year and is winless in two UFC bouts with one loss and a draw. The 26-year old is coming off a split draw against Charles Jourdain. Culibao is 5-10 tall with a reach of 73 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Sha Yilan posted a 6-1 record across WLF W.A.R.S and JCK promotions. The 27-year old from China will be making his UFC debut in this event. Sha Yilan has a record of 17-6 with seven knockouts and five submission victories. He stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 69 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Yilan is a good wrestler but he is a limited fighter on the feet. He also has not faced an opponent in the caliber of Culibao so this is a step-up in level of opposition for him. Yilan has a good takedown game that could take advantage of Culibao’s poor gas tank. However, I like Culibao to sprawl and brawl his way to victory here.
Prediction: Josh Culibao
Damir Hadzovic fought for Venator FC and Cage Warriors before making his first UFC appearance. The 34-year old Bosnian Danish mixed martial artist has lost back-to-back fights heading to this contest and has an overall record of 13-6 with seven knockouts and three submission wins. He is 5-9 tall with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Yancy Medeiros started fighting in Hawaii before joining Strikeforce. The 33-year old joined the UFC in 2013 and has a UFC record of 6-7 with one no-contest. Medeiros has lost three straight bouts, two by knockout, heading to this contest. He is 5-10 with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter. Medeiros has a record of 15-7 with 8 knockouts and four submission wins.
Medeiros’ losses have been to good UFC fighters and not only does he have the edge in power, but he is also tough as they come. His wrestling has been his weakness but Hadzovic doesn’t look like he’s going to be one who’s going to test it. Most probably, Hadzovic will oblige a slugfest and Medeiros has the tools to win that against him. I think Medeiros is tough enough to withstand Hadzovic’s best punches and his pace should overwhelm the Bosnian in the latter stages of the fight.
Prediction: Yancy Medeiros
Rafael Alves fought for Jungle Time, Fight Time Promotions, and Titan FC before joining the Contender Series where he submitted Alejandro Flores Garcia. The 30-year old Brazilian heads to this bout with a five-fight winning streak including stoppage wins in his last three bouts. Alves is 19-9 with 7 knockouts and 7 submission wins. He is 5-8 tall with a reach of 68 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Damir Ismagulov is a former M-1 Global lightweight champion. The 30-year old Russian made two successful title defenses before joining the UFC. He is 3-0 inside the Octagon but has not fought since August 2019. His record is 19-1 with nine knockouts and one submission victory. Ismagulov is 5-10 tall with a 74-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Ismagulov has the tools to shut down good grapplers and he isn’t too bad on the feet. Alves is a physical specimen but he doesn’t have what it takes to beat Ismagulov’s wrestling skills and fundamentals. Not to mention that Ismagulov has the patience to go the distance. I think that Ismagulov outworks Alves in a long and grinding fight.
Prediction: Damir Ismagulov
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