UFC on ESPN+ 46: Font vs. Garbrandt Preview

The last time Cody Garbrandt was in the main event was when he lost a rematch to then-UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw. Now, the former champ returns to the headlining spot to face Rob Font in the main event of a UFC “Fight Night” card.

A bantamweight clash between Font and Garbrandt is set to take place in the main event of a card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Here’s a full preview of the show.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Damir Ismagulov (22-1) vs. Rafael Alves (19-9) (Lightweight)

Rafael Alves will get his UFC debut against a tough opponent in Damir Ismagulov in the opening bout of the card.

Alves has been slated to fight in the UFC for quite some time now, although three bookings earlier this year have fallen off for various reasons. The former interim Titan FC Lightweight Champion scored a UFC contract last year with a submission win over Alejandro Flores on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”

He now fights Ismagulov, who has put together three wins since joining the UFC roster. He last fought in August of 2019, where he took a decision victory over Thiago Moises.

Bout 2: Yancy Medeiros (15-7) vs. Damir Hadzovic (13-6) (Lightweight)

UFC veteran Yancy Medeiros will look to break a three-fight skid when fighting Damir Hadzovic on Saturday night.

Medeiros last fought in early 2020, where Lando Vannata took a scorecard win over him. The fight was his third consecutive loss, including previous stoppage losses to Gregor Gillespie and Donald Cerrone.

Hadzovic is also on a losing streak, having dropped bouts to Christos Giagos and Renato Moicano.

Bout 3: David Dvorak (19-3) vs. Juancamilo Ronderos (4-0) (Flyweight)

David Dvorak was initially set to fight on Saturday’s card against Raulian Paiva. However, plans changed on Friday after Paiva was hospitalized during his weight cut. Surprisingly, Dvorak was given a new opponent on a day’s notice.

Dovrak will fight undefeated flyweight Juancamilo Ronderos, who is entering the UFC after four wins as a pro. Ronderos scored all of his victories in his rookie year, competing for Michigan-based promotion WXC.

Dvorak is undefeated through two fights in the UFC. His last appearance was in September, where he defeated Jordan Espinosa.

Ronderos missed weight for the fight, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the flyweight limit.

Bout 4: Joshua Culibao (8-1-1) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (19-6) (Featherweight)

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke will make his UFC debut when fighting Joshua Culibao in a featherweight fight. Nuerdanbieke joins the UFC after an extensive run on the regional scene, picking up 19 wins through 25 fights.

He fights Culibao, who is still looking for his first UFC win. After losing his UFC debut early in 2020 to Jalin Turner, Culibao fought to a draw against Charles Jourdain in October.

Bout 5: Victor Rodriguez (7-3) vs. Bruno Silva (11-5-2) (Flyweight)

Attempting to bounce back after losing his UFC debut, Victor Rodriguez will battle Bruno Silva.

Rodriguez was stopped in his first UFC appearance late last year, getting finished within a round by Adrian Yanez. His entrance into the promotion came after a four-fight win streak on the regional scene.

Silva scored his first UFC win through four appearances just two months back, finishing JP Buys in the second round of a fight with strikes.

Bout 6: Claudio Silva (14-2) vs. Court McGee (19-10) (Welterweight)

In what could be a must-win situation, Court McGee will face Claudio Silva in a welterweight fight.

McGee has not been in his winning ways for a while, having won one of his last six fights. He has lost his last three fights in the cage, with his last fight being a unanimous decision against Carlos Condit in October.

Silva is also looking to return to the win column but is doing so after only suffering one loss. After going undefeated in the UFC through five fights, Silva had his streak snapped in October in a fight against James Krause.

Bout 7: Ben Rothwell (38-13) vs. Chris Barnett (21-6) (Heavyweight)

After dozens of fights in his career, veteran heavyweight Chris Barnett will get the UFC call-up to fight Ben Rothwell in the featured prelim. Barnett has fought as a pro since 2009, competing all around the world in promotions like Road FC, RIZIN, UAE Warriors and more. He is best known for his entertaining style and surprising athleticism for a heavyweight.

Barnett took the fight on short notice, replacing Philipe Lins. Rothwell was first set to face Lins on May 8th, but then his fight was moved to this date. Rothwell had a two-fight win streak broken in his last appearance, losing to Marcin Tybura in October.

Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 8: Jack Hermansson (21-6) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) (Middleweight)

Returning after taking his first pro loss last year, 23-year-old Edmen Shahbazyan is getting another tough opponent in Jack Hermansson. Shahbazyan had four wins in the UFC from 2018 to 2019, although he had his momentum broken last year by veteran Derek Brunson, who finished him in the third round of a dominant performance.

He now fights Hermansson, who has fought some of the top middleweights in recent fights. He last fought in late December, where he lost a five-round fight to Marvin Vettori, who is now next in line to challenge for the middleweight belt. Before then, Hermansson stopped former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum in the second round with a heel hook.

Bout 9: Bill Algeo (14-5) vs. Ricardo Ramos (14-3) (Featherweight)

Featherweights Bill Algeo and Ricardo Ramos will collide on the main card.

Ramos had a strong run in 2019, defeating Journey Newson via decision and handing Eduardo Garagorri his first pro loss. The momentum from that year was stopped quickly in July of 2020, where Lerone Murphy scored a first-round ground and pound win.

Algeo lost his UFC debut in August on short notice to veteran Ricardo Lamas, although he bounced back later in the year with a win over Spike Carlyle.

A fight between these two featherweights was first set for a UFC card in April, although it was later booted ahead due to COVID-19 protocol.

Bout 10: Felicia Spencer (8-2) vs. Norma Dumont (5-1) (Featherweight)

A rare featherweight fight will happen when Felicia Spencer faces Norma Dumont on Saturday.

Dumont made the attempt to go down to bantamweight earlier this year, but was removed from a fight after missing weight by a wide margin. Dumont’s last appearance saw her earn her first UFC win, defeating Ashlee Evans-Smith in November.

Spencer will be fighting for the first time after losing a title fight to Amanda Nunes last year. The five-round performance showcased Nunes’ skill but also showed the toughness of Spencer throughout.

Bout 11: Justin Tafa (4-2) vs. Jared Vanderaa (11-5) (Heavyweight)

Heavyweights coming off a loss Justin Tafa and Jared Vanderaa will be matched for Saturday night.

Vanderaa lost his UFC debut in February, getting stopped by Serghei Spivac. He was appearing just three months after a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series” secured him a UFC contract.

Tafa lost a split decision early this year to Carlos Felipe, moving his promotional record to one win and two losses.

Bout 12: Yan Xiaonan (13-1) vs. Carla Esparza (17-6) (Strawweight)

Yan Xiaonan has yet to lose since joining the UFC in 2017. That undefeated promotional record will be tested in the co-main event when she fights Carla Esparza.

Yan’s last win, her sixth in the UFC, was a decision victory against Claudia Gadelha in November.

Esparza enters the fight after winning her last four showings. She escaped her last two fights with tight margins on scorecards, defeating both Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson via split decision last year.

Bout 13: Rob Font (18-4) vs. Cody Garbrant (12-3) (Bantamweight)

Appearing for the first time in nearly a year, former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrant will compete in the main event of Saturday night against rising bantamweight Rob Font.

Garbrandt was in a three-fight losing streak last year. The skid included two title fight losses to TJ Dillashaw and a back-and-forth battle on the feet that Pedro Munhoz got the winning end of.

That streak was broken in June of 2020, where Garbrandt landed an explosive right hook that stopped Raphael Assuncao late in the second round of their fight.

UFC then attempted to make an odd move, booking Garbrant to move down to flyweight to fight Deiveson Figueiredo. This plan never happened, as an injury forced him out of the fight. What’s more, Garbrandt was further sidelined after contracting COVID-19 and dealing with some of the long-term effects that come from it.

He now fights Font, who has won his last three fights against credible names in the division. After previously defeating Sergio Pettis and Ricky Simon in recent years, Font scored a first-round stoppage victory against ranked bantamweight Marlon Moraes in December.

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