Rob Font bests Cody Garbrandt over five rounds for unanimous decision win
A striking masterclass showcase 🤜
— UFC (@ufc) May 23, 2021
Rob Font continued his ascent up the UFC bantamweight division with a dominant performance over former champion Cody Garbrandt in the UFC Apex on Saturday night.
Garbrandt, a respected striker and heavy hitter in the context of his weight category, was unable to offer little offense with his boxing as Font picked him apart with a stinging jab and an effective right straight that looked to have “No Love” in trouble on multiple occasions in the night’s main event.
The striking momentum was with Font from the outset and that was enough for Garbrandt to try and switch things up in the early stages of this contest with rarely-seen takedowns from him, though he was unable to bring the fight back to the floor later on in the contest as he tired.
Font always seemed a step ahead of Garbrandt in this five-round bout and was able to escape unscathed from a more aggressive final round from his opponent to secure the unanimous decision win.
Next in line for the title? 🙌
— UFC (@ufc) May 23, 2021
Elsewhere on Saturday night’s card, Carla Esparza stated her case for a UFC women’s strawweight title shot.
Chinese opponent Xiaonan Yan had no answers for Esparza’s dominant grappling game and was taken down in the first few seconds of this fight contested at 115 pounds.
On the ground, Esparza was able to deliver an abundance of damage from on top, splitting Yan’s forehead open with a nasty elbow.
Esparza scored another takedown early in the second round and cut through her opponent’s guard like a hot knife through butter, passing to side control before securing her in a crucifix.
From there, “Cookie Monster” smashed down elbows and punches on her defenceless opponent, forcing Keith Peterson to intervene.
🃏 'The Joker' earns his 9️⃣th victory inside the Octagon!@JackTheJokerMMA is now TIED with the middleweight champ for most wins in the division!
— UFC (@ufc) May 22, 2021
In the first fight on the main card, Scandinavia’s top middleweight talent Jack Hermansson had to rally to defeat prospect Edmen Shahbazyan over three rounds.
Shahbazyan got the better of Hermansson in the early striking exchanges, landing some piercing jabs followed up by powerful punching combinations.
Hermansson had to change things up and he did, taking Shahbazyan down early in the second round and kept him there for the most of it though his Armenian-American counterpart did end the round in top position.
“The Joker” grounded Shahbazyan down again in the third round and was this time able to secure his opponent well enough to keep him underneath. Hermansson was able to land a series of punches and elbows from on top, ending the fight in full mount.
Those two rounds of ground control and sustained damage were enough for Hermansson to overcome a dicey first round to defeat the highly-touted Shahbazyan.
UFC Fight Night: Rob Font vs. Cody Garbrandt full results
Bantamweight: Rob Font def. Cody Garbrandt by unanimous decision after five rounds
Women’s Strawweight: Carla Esparza def. Yan Xiaonan by TKO (punches) at 2:58 of round two
Heavyweight: Jared Vanderaa def. Justin Tafa by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Featherweight: Norma Dumont def. Felicia Spencer by split decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Ricardo Ramos def. Bill Algeo by unanimous decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Jack Hermansson def. Edmen Shahbazyan by unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Ben Rothwell def. Chris Barnett by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:07 of round two
Welterweight: Court McGee def. Cláudio Silva by unanimous decision after three rounds
Flyweight: Bruno Gustavo da Silva def. Victor Rodriguez by KO (punches) at 1:00 of round one
Featherweight: Joshua Culibao def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke by unanimous decision after three rounds
Catchweight: David Dvořák def. Juancamilo Ronderos by submission (rear-naked choke) at1 2:18 of round one
Lightweight: Damir Ismagulov def. Rafael Alves by unanimous decision after three rounds