After another loss at UFC Vegas 27, what’s next for Edmen Shahbazyan?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 27, top prospect Edmen Shahbazyan (11-2) took on The Joker Jack Hermansson (22-6) to kick off the main card. This was a really tall order for Shahbazyan who was coming off of his first career loss last year.

Shahbazyan was being touted as a future champion in 2020. The previously unbeaten Shahbazyan was surging up the UFC‘s middleweight division all before he even turned 23 years old.

Shahbazyan was 4-0 in the UFC as he got his first main event slot against Derek Brunson last August. The 22 year old Shahbazyan looked like he was ready to break into the scene of stardom, but Derek Brunson was having none of it.

Brunson completely broke Shahbazyan down on his way to picking up a third round TKO victory. In reality, Shahbazyan should have taken a step back after that loss. At just 23 years old, there is no reason to rush his career.

However, Shahbazyan insisted that he fight someone in the UFC‘s top ten. After some back and forth with the promotion, Shahbazyan was given that top ten opponent in the tough Jack Hermansson.

UFC Vegas 27 and what’s next?

In the first round, Shahbazyan looked sensational at UFC Vegas 27. In fact, it looked like he made the right choice. However, when he wasn’t able to stop Hermansson in the first round, that’s when things went south quickly.

Hermansson started taking the fight to the ground after the first and Shahbazyan had no answer. The third round was so one-sided that it was an easy 10-8 round for Hermansson. Ultimately, Shahbazyan lost a decision at UFC Vegas 27.

Having lost a second fight in a row, Shahbazyan has to take a step back at this point. He very well might be a future UFC champion, but he seriously needs to take a breather and take an easier fight.

It’s important to remember that he’s only 23 years old in a sport where many don’t reach their prime until their late 20s to early 30s. So, who should the UFC give him in his next matchup?

I think he needs to fight someone outside the rankings. I think someone entertaining would be a matchup with a guy like Julian Marquez (9-2). Marquez has nine finishes in nine wins and he’s won two in a row.

With the style he possesses, this could be a good step back for Shahbazyan. Should Marquez win, he bursts into top fifteen. Should Shahbazyan win, he gets some confidence back and the UFC can give him a ranked opponent afterwards.

After dominant win at UFC Vegas 27, what’s next for Rob Font?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 27, we saw a pivotal matchup in the bantamweight division. Former champion Cody Garbrandt (12-4) was taking on the surging Rob Font (19-4).

For the first time in a few years, Rob Font was fighting twice within a 12 month period. Font has been one of the brighter prospects in the UFC‘s bantamweight division, but for a while, he struggled to stay active.

However, he had won three in a row leading into UFC Vegas 27. One of those wins came over the current Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis. Font looked better than ever in his last outing against former title challenger Marlon Moraes.

He picked up the first round knockout and that win earned him a shot against the former UFC champion. However, Garbrandt was going to be a much steeper test. This was a great fight to see where Rob Font was in terms of the elite.

Well, Font looked sensational on Saturday night. The first round was very close with him getting taken down a couple of times, however, after that round, it was all Font. He dominated with his jab and lit Garbrandt up on his way to a dominant decision win at UFC Vegas 27.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 27?

While it’s a massive win for Rob Font, he didn’t move at all in this week’s UFC rankings. Font is locked in at the third spot behind Cory Sandhagen (14-2) and former champion Petr Yan.

Sandhagen is scheduled to face former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw (16-4) in July. That fight is being considered a likely title eliminator with the winner fighting the winner of the rematch between Yan and Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling and Yan are expected to run things back in the fall. With that, what’s next for Rob Font? Well, the UFC could have Font face the winner of Sandhagen – Dillashaw if the Sterling – Yan title fight takes a while to materialize.

That’s definitely an option for Font. Another option would be taking on former featherweight champion Jose Aldo (29-7) should Aldo win his next fight. Aldo is taking on Pedro Munhoz in August and if he wins that fight, a matchup with Font could make a lot of sense.

Rose Namajunas next opponent still not clear after UFC Vegas 27

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 27, Carla Esparza (18-6) took on Yan Xiaonan (13-2, 1 NC). Many people were thinking that the winner would likely get the next crack at the UFC strawweight title.

Xiaonan had the most hype coming into the matchup. She was a perfect 6-0 in the UFC and none of her fights had really been that close. Carla Esparza is a former UFC strawweight champion, but she often gets overlooked by everyone.

Esparza was the first strawweight champion for the promotion when she defeated Rose Namajunas (10-4) back in 2014. However, the reign was short lived as Esparza was destroyed by Joanna Jedrzejczyk in her first title defense.

Since then, Esparza has gone 8-3 in the UFC, but a few of those wins were razor close split decisions. Heading into UFC Vegas 27, Esparza had won four fights in a row, but she needed a signature win to get in the title conversation.

Well, Esparza completely dominated Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27. Xiaonan had no answer for the wrestling of Esparza and Esparza battered her on the ground. Ultimately, she picked up the second round TKO victory on Saturday night.

Next UFC title challenger still not clear

After her dominant win, Esparza made her case in her post-fight interview that she deserves the next shot at Rose Namajunas. Esparza holds a victory over the current UFC champion and now she’s won five fights in a row.

Dana White was interviewed after the event where he was asked about Namajunas’ next challenger. I was expecting him to come out and say that they will likely be doing Namajunas – Esparza 2 next.

However, that’s not what Dana White said. White indicated that the rematch with Esparza is definitely an option, but so is the rematch with Zhang Weili (21-2). Weili was the strawweight champion who was just knocked out by Namajunas last month.

She is really pushing for the immediate rematch with Namajunas and the UFC is seriously weighing that as an option. In reality, Esparza has earned the next shot at the champion. However, we know that sometimes the UFC will favor the bigger fight.

Despite the one-sided nature of the title fight at UFC 261, the Namajunas – Weili rematch is likely bigger business. While Esparza definitely deserves the shot, I’m not certain she’s going to get it. This will definitely be something to watch over the coming weeks.

What’s next for Cody Garbrandt after UFC Vegas 27?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 27, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-4) took on Rob Font (19-4) in the main event. This was a pivotal matchup between two top five contenders in the bantamweight division.

Garbrandt was making his first appearance since UFC 250 last June. That night, the former champion knocked out Raphael Assuncao in the second round. That win snapped a three-fight losing streak for the former champion.

After that win, Garbrandt intended to move to flyweight to challenge for the UFC flyweight title. However, a battle with COVID-19 and injuries kept Garbrandt out for a significant amount of time.

After resuming training, Garbrandt decided to stay at 135 pounds for now. Ultimately, Garbrandt said that he wanted to hold two UFC titles at the same time. He was undecided on which division he would pursue.

The former champion looked motivated and focused heading into UFC Vegas 27. However, that focus didn’t translate to the performance. While Garbrandt landed some decent shots, Rob Font beat him to the punch and pretty much dominated on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 27?

After this loss, the former UFC champion is just 1-4 in his last five fights. So, where does ‘No Love’ go from here? Well, a lot of that will depend on which weight class he decides to pursue.

As mentioned, he seemed torn between flyweight and bantamweight moving forward. The UFC has options for him depending on which weight class he decides to pursue and there are options.

If he moves down to 125 pounds, I think a fight with someone like Alex Perez (24-6) makes a lot of sense. Perez is coming off a loss in a title fight and he’s squarely in the mix. If Garbrandt moved down and defeated Perez, he’d likely be right in line for a title shot.

If Garbrandt decides to stay at bantamweight, the UFC could pair him with someone like Marlon Moraes (23-8-1). Moraes is in a very similar position having gone 1-3 in his last four although the one win should’ve been a loss.

Magic Marlon is still ranked sixth in the division so Garbrandt would still be getting a top opponent. Either one of these fights would make sense for the former champion, but it will all come down to which weight class he wants to try next.

Rob Font outclasses Cody Garbrandt at UFC Vegas 27

In the main event of UFC Vegas 27, we saw a pivotal matchup in the bantamweight champion. Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-3) was back to take on the surging Rob Font (18-4).

Garbrandt is returning for the first time since UFC 250 last June. The former bantamweight champion knocked out Raphael Assuncao last June and immediately said that he was going to drop to flyweight to challenge the flyweight champion.

In fact, Garbrandt was booked to challenge for the flyweight title in November. However, the former UFC champion tested positive for COVID and really struggled to get over the virus. After battling COVID, Garbrandt decided to stay at bantamweight for now.

With that decision, the UFC booked him against Rob Font. Font has won three fights in a row leading into UFC Vegas 27. Font took on former title challenger Marlon Moraes back in December.

In what was the most impressive performance of his career, Font knocked out Moraes in the first round. That massive win put Font into the top five and earned him this shot against the former UFC champion.

UFC Vegas 27 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 27 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Both men took the first few seconds to just try and gauge the range. The two trade jabs to start the striking and Garbrandt landed a nasty calf kick.

Font looked to work his jab, but was a bit out of range. Garbrandt fired a powerful headkick that was blocked by Font. Another good low kick lands for the former UFC champion. Font pushes forward trying to get Garbrandt against the fence.

Garbrandt circles and Font lands his own leg kick. Good jab lands for Rob Font, but Garbrandt counters with one of his own. Huge 1-2 lands for Font and Garbrandt is wobbled. Font tries to press forward, but Garbrandt gets some distance and stays calm.

Garbrandt uses the aggressiveness of Font to time a takedown attempt. The former champion gets Font to the ground with 90 seconds left to work. Font uses an escape to get back to his feet. Once on the feet, Font starts lighting up Garbrandt, but Garbrandt takes him right back down.

The round closes with Font getting back up to his feet. Extremely close round, but with two takedowns and some decent shots of his own, I lean slightly towards the former UFC champion.

Round 2

The second round starts and Font goes right back to the pressure. However, Garbrandt shoots in for a takedown and gets it. Garbrandt starts to attempt to pass the guard while throwing some shots in the guard.

Font tries to use a submission attempt to escape, but Garbrandt scrambles to keep the top position. Garbrandt is in halfguard and Font uses a kimura to scramble and get back to his feet.

Font immediately starts pushing forward behind his jab. Garbrandt tries for another takedown, but this time he can’t land it. The former UFC champion is looking a little tired with two minutes left in the round.

Big jab lands for Font and a counter left lands for Garbrandt. Font continues to touch Garbrandt with his jab and he throws a nice uppercut. Both men whiff on big power shots.

Another good jab for Rob Font. 1-2 lands for Rob Font and he’s gaining more confidence here. More pressure for Font and he lands another stiff jab. Garbrandt shoots deep for a takedown, but Font stuffs it. 1-1 after two at UFC Vegas 27.

Round 3

Entering the third round at UFC Vegas 27 and all the momentum is with Rob Font. Font immediately back on the pressure and jab to start round 3. Garbrandt tries to throw his own, but Font is landing here.

Nasty calf kick lands for Garbrandt. Stiff jab for Rob Font. Garbrandt pushes forward with a combination, but Font counters with two straight brutal 1-2s. Font pushes forward with little respect for Garbrandt here.

Garbrandt tries for another takedown, but Font stuffs it and reverses the position. Font presses Garbrandt against the fence and he tries for his own takedown. Garbrandt uses a scramble to separate and we’re back to striking.

Font presses forward and lands a jab followed by a 1-2. Garbrandt is forced to shoot for a takedown, but Font sprawls nicely. Font gets back to his feet and lands a nice knee to the body.

It’s all Rob Font here as he lands two straight jabs. Nasty hook to the body lands for Rob Font. Garbrandt looking frustrated, but there’s no significant answer. The round closes and it’s either 2-1 or 3-0 Rob Font at UFC Vegas 27.

Round 4

Entering the main event rounds and the former UFC champion needs to turn things around. The two touch gloves and Font lands two straight jabs. Garbrandt lands another really nice calf kick to start his striking.

Counter left hook lands for Garbrandt and Font pushes forward with about four shots of his own. Another nice jab lands for Rob Font. Right hand over the top lands for Rob Font. Garbrandt comes up top, but Font lands a nasty body shot.

Huge short left lands for Garbrandt, but Font just eats it. Body shot lands for Font and it hurts Garbrandt. Garbrandt immediately ties Font up, but Font separates. 1-2 lands for Rob Font and then he lands a good body kick.

Vicious combination lands for Rob Font and he’s in total control. Right hook over the top lands for Font. Leg kick and then a 1-2 for Font. Another jab for Font and Garbrandt is wearing it right now.

Massive 1-2 finds it’s home for Font. Sloppy takedown attempts from the former UFC champion are stuffed by Font. Three straight jabs land for Font. The round comes to a close and it’s all Rob Font here at UFC Vegas 27.

Round 5

Entering the final round here at UFC Vegas 27 and it’s going to take a miracle from Cody Garbrandt. However, entering the final round and Garbrandt looks a little checked out and frustrated.

1-2 for Garbrandt lands and a big combination after lands for the former UFC champion. However, Font pushes right through it and lands nice shots of his own. Garbrandt steps in and lands a big left hook.

The former champion lands a massive right hook. Big 1-2 lands for Rob Font and these two are throwing in the final round. Both trade jabs, but Font doubles it up Huge uppercut lands for Font and Garbrandt is wobbled.

Garbrandt steps away and regains his composure. Font pressuring behind his jab and Garbrandt is trying to regain himself. Two minutes left and another jab lands for Font. Huge right lands for Cody Garbrandt.

A jab and a massive right lands for Font and Garbrandt is hurt again. Garbrandt tries for a takedown and Font is all over him. Another jab for Rob Font. The boxing is so crisp for Rob Font.

1-2 lands for Font and this one is in the final seconds. Garbrandt tries a big spinning attack and Font gets a body lock. Font pulls Garbrandt to the ground and holds on as time expires. This one is over and it should be Rob Font 49-46.

Rob Font def. Cody Garbrandt by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 50-45, 50-45)

Paul Felder announces retirement at UFC Vegas 27

One of the more exciting fighters in the UFC‘s lightweight division is hanging it up. On tonight’s broadcast, top ten lightweight contender Paul Felder (17-6) announced that he was officially retiring.

Felder last fought at UFC Vegas 14 when he stepped in on short-notice to face Raphael Dos Anjos. Felder was competitive with the former UFC lightweight champion while having no training camp.

That fight back in November seemed to relight the fire in Felder. The Irish Dragon had spent most of 2020 leaning towards retirement. However, he declared after UFC Vegas 14 that he wanted to continue.

Since then, months have gone by and Felder started to reconsider. On the UFC Vegas 27 broadcast, Felder said that he’s really enjoyed his time off with his family and he’s been finding it harder and harder to get back in the gym.

Felder has also said in the past that if he didn’t see himself challenging for the title anytime soon, he’d likely hang it up. Well, Felder is ranked ninth in the UFC‘s lightweight rankings and would likely have had to string together three or four wins before getting a title shot.

UFC’s Irish Dragon

It’s been a great career and a heck of a run in the octagon for Felder. Felder made his UFC debut back in 2015 and entered the octagon at 9-0. The Irish Dragon has been in there with some of the best since making his debut with the promotion.

Overall, Felder has gone 8-6 during his UFC run. During that run, Felder has been in there with the likes of RDA, Edson Barboza, and Dan Hooker. The highlight of Felder’s UFC career is his TKO victory over current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

I’m sad to hear the news tonight, but I completely get where Felder is coming from. It’s unfortunate we won’t see the Irish Dragon in the octagon anymore, but we will get to hear Felder doing some UFC play-by-play for years to come.

UFC Vegas 27 Preview: Edmen Shahbazyan – Jack Hermansson

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 27, we will see a big time matchup in the middleweight division. The Golden Boy Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) makes his return as he takes on The Joker Jack Hermansson (21-6).

Shahbazyan was one of the UFC‘s most hyped prospects in 2020. He started out his career inside the octagon at 4-0 including three first round stoppages. The most impressive victory was his first round knockout over Brad Tavares.

That win propelled Shahbazyan into his first UFC main event last August. Shahbazyan was tasked with fighting the gate keeper of the middleweight division, Derek Brunson. Ultimately, Brunson stopped the Shahbazyan hype train via a third round TKO.

Shahbazyan didn’t want to take a step back to reset after the loss and the UFC didn’t give him one. Tomorrow night, he’s going to be taking on one of the trickier middleweights in the division.

Jack Hermansson is looking to bounce back after he lost to Marvin Vettori back in December. Hermansson is 5-2 in his last seven UFC fights with the two losses coming against Vettori and Jared Cannonier. If he’s able to win at UFC Vegas 27, Hermansson will propel himself right back into the mix at 185.

UFC Vegas 27 Prediction

I’m very curious to see what we will get out of Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC Vegas 27. Derek Brunson broke him in his last fight and usually with prospects one of two things happens after a loss like either.

Either Shahbazyan is going to look better than ever tomorrow or he will look like a shell of that top prospect that UFC fans were excited for. Even if Shahbazyan looks good tomorrow, he’s in for a very tough fight.

Jack Hermansson does pretty much everything well inside the cage. His striking is his weakest area, but he’s still effective with his striking. He can hang on the feet with Shahbazyan especially if Shahbazyan’s power can’t put him away.

If this fight goes the distance, I see no way that Shahbazyan wins. I think Hermansson’s grappling and pace are a tough out for the prospect. I wouldn’t rule out a Shahbazyan stoppage on the feet at UFC Vegas 27, but I think The Joker is going to be too much.

Prediction: Jack Hermansson by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 3

UFC Vegas 27 Preview: Rob Font – Cody Garbrandt

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 27, we will see a pivotal matchup in the bantamweight division. Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-3) is back as he takes on the surging Rob Font (18-4).

Whoever wins this matchup is going to be sitting in a very good spot in terms of the title picture at bantamweight. For Garbrandt, he’s looking to pick up his second straight win after snapping a three-fight losing streak.

The former UFC champion has been through a lot over the past few years. Losing his title to TJ Dillashaw, health issues, three knockout losses, and a battle with COVID. While his resolve has been tested, Garbrandt’s desire never wavered.

The former champion is hungrier than ever coming off of a knockout win over Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 last June. Garbrandt said this week that he plans on winning tomorrow and then he has the flyweight and bantamweight titles in his future. 

Rob Font will look to throw Garbrandt off of his path. Font has risen up to be one of the most dangerous contenders in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. Entering UFC Vegas 27, Font has won three straight.

In December, Font took on former title challenger Marlon Moraes. Font completely destroyed Moraes and stopped him in the first round. If he’s able to stop No Love in the first round tomorrow, he could be next in line for a UFC title shot.

UFC Vegas 27 Prediction

This main event at UFC Vegas 27 is going to come down to one thing and that thing is boxing. Both of these men possess some of the best hands not just in the bantamweight division, but in the entire promotion.

However, the go about it in very different ways. Font is more of an upright boxer who uses sleek angles, range, and straight shots. Garbrandt on the other hand relies on his speed and ability to close distance with huge power shots.

Historically, strikers like Rob Font do better in these kind of matchups. Think Conor McGregor – Jose Aldo here. I’m truly torn on who I think is going to win at UFC Vegas 27.

Ultimately, I actually like Rob Font to get the win here. I think he’s going to tag Garbrandt in the first round and we’ve all seen Garbrandt throw game plans out the window when he gets hit. If that happens at UFC Vegas 27, he’s going to get stopped by the crisp strikes of Rob Font.

Prediction: Rob Font by TKO – Round 2

Cody Garbrandt focused on becoming a two-division UFC champion

This weekend at UFC Vegas 27, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-3) returns in the main event. Garbrandt is taking on the surging contender Rob Font (18-4) in a pivotal matchup for the bantamweight division.

The last year has been really difficult for the former UFC champion. Garbrandt last fought at UFC 250 last June where he knocked out Raphael Assuncao in the second round with a savage right hand.

It was a massive win for Garbrandt who snapped a three-fight losing streak with that win. After the win, Garbrandt came out and said that he was going to drop to flyweight and challenge for the UFC‘s flyweight title.

The promotion booked him against the champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) at UFC 255. However, after a battle with COVID, Garbrandt had to pull out of the fight. Figueiredo ended up defeating Alex Perez that night and fought to a draw a few weeks later against Brandon Moreno (18-5-2).

At UFC 263, Figueiredo and Moreno will rematch after their first fight was scored a draw. That delayed Garbrandt’s chances at the flyweight title and as a result, he decided to stay at bantamweight to fight Rob Font.

The former UFC champion now finds himself in a unique spot. If he wins on Saturday, he could be one of the first in line to fight for the bantamweight title. However, he also could be the next in line for the flyweight title after UFC 263.

Garbrandt’s two-division UFC dream

In speaking to the media this week prior to UFC Vegas 27, Garbrandt made it clear that he sees two titles in his future. He laid out a scenario in which he can become a two-division champion in the next year.

Garbrandt pointed out the fact that if he wins Saturday and the winner of Figueiredo/Moreno comes out clean, he could fight the winner in a few months. That would be his chance to capture the UFC flyweight title.

If that were to happen, Garbrandt could then move back up to challenge the bantamweight champion. Champion Aljamain Sterling (20-3) and Petr Yan (15-2) are expected to rematch in the fall after Sterling won the title by DQ at UFC 259.

TJ Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen are fighting in July and the winner of that matchup might be next. However, Garbrandt could be the second in line after Sandhagen/Dillashaw.

If “No Love” wins at UFC Vegas 27 then drops down to become the flyweight champion, he very well could fight for the bantamweight title next year. It’s a steep ask, but Garbrandt seems up to the challenge. You can see his full pre-fight media scrum below.

UFC: Jack Hermansson – Edmen Shahbazyan postponed one week

UFC 262 has lost one of it’s fights. MMA DNA was the first to report today that the middleweight matchup between Jack Hermansson (21-6) and Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) is being postponed. Shahbazyan confirmed the news on his Twitter page. 

At this time, it’s not known why the fight is being postponed. However, fight fans will not have to wait long for this matchup. Shahbazyan confirmed also that the fight is being pushed back just one week to UFC Vegas 27.

With the news that it’s only being pushed back a week, we can safely make the assumption that nothing serious is happening. The most important thing is that the UFC was able to turn around this matchup quickly.

Shahbazyan is looking to bounce back after his first UFC and career loss in his last matchup. The promotion was giving him the fast track and he took on Derek Brunson in a main event last year.

The veteran did a fantastic job of weathering the storm from Shahbazyan and making him tired. Brunson ended up scoring the TKO victory in a very humbling defeat for the top prospect.

In all honesty, I’ve been surprised about this booking from the beginning. I’m shocked that the UFC decided to give Shahbazyan a fight with Jack Hermansson after his last fight. However, they ultimately wanted to keep him around the top ten.

UFC bounce back for Hermansson

Jack Hermansson is still ranked seventh in the UFC’s middleweight division, but he’s coming off of a lopsided loss to Marvin Vettori in his last fight. Hermansson had some moments, but ultimately, The Italian Dream was too much.

That loss puts Hermansson at 1-2 in his last three matchups. The two losses coming to Vettori and Jared Cannonier. Twice now, Hermansson has come close to getting a UFC title shot.

After winning four in a row, Hermansson got a shot against Jared Cannonier. Had Hermansson won that fight, he might’ve been challenging for the title. However, Cannonier stopped him in the second round.

Then after he defeated Kelvin Gastelum, Hermansson was right back in a good position to potentially get a UFC title eliminator matchup. But, he of course came up short against Vettori.

Now, he will look to reset against the top prospect. This is a big fight for both of these men and it will tell us a lot about where they are heading in the future.