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UFC Fight Night results: Rob Font outstrikes Cody Garbrandt to net career-best win

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Rob Font entered the biggest fight of his life on Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas against former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. 

And he handled the pressure of his first-ever UFC main event by using constant pressure and high volume striking to defeat Garbrandt via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 48-47). DAZN News scored the fight 48-47 for Font. 

"I have the best jab in the UFC, that's for sure," Font told Paul Felder in his post-fight interview. 

 

Font had some success in the opening round with the jab to let Garbrandt know he had a six-inch reach advantage and would use it for 25 minutes if necessary. Garbrandt looked to have figured it out and scored two takedowns to close out the stanza. 

However, Garbrandt (12-4) brought the momentum into the second round as he came right out with another takedown. The complexion of the fight changed when Font swept Garbrandt to make it back to his feet. From that point forward, it was all Font. 

The New England native walked Garbrandt down and popped the jab at will to bloody Garbrandt's nose. Any time Garbrandt would come forward, Font would fire multiple punch combinations that Garbrandt couldn't respond to. 

Font (19-4) has won four consecutive fights to put himself on the verge of a title shot. For Garbrandt, it's his fourth loss in five fights. 

Here is what happened at UFC Fight Night: Cody Garbrandt vs. Rob Font.


 

Rob Font notches career-best win over Cody Garbrandt

Font def. Garbrandt via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 48-47). 

A very good performance by Font. He used his constant pressure with high volume striking to score the biggest win of his career against the former bantamweight champion.
 
 

Font-Garbrandt; Round 5

Garbrandt begins with a combination. A body shot from Garbrandt. Two hard knees by Font. Two hard right hands connect for Garbrandt. A big uppercut backs Garbrandt up. A jab by Font and Garbrandt blasts an overhand right. Font comes back with an overhand right of his own. 

Font is once again leading the dance with the jab. A head kick connects for Garbrandt. With time ticking down, Font pulls guard and Garbrandt lands a few right hands to the head as the horn sounds. Good fight. (10-9 Garbrandt, 48-47 Font)
 

Font-Garbrandt; Round 4

This is the first time Font has entered the fourth round. 

Garbrandt fires a leg kick. A four-punch combination by Font. A body shot from Font and Garbrandt comes right back with a left hook. Another one-two by Font, who is looking fantastic. A right cross clips Garbrandt's chin. Garbrandt blocks a head kick and lands a hard knee to the body. 

Another hard combination connects for Font, who is in total control as we head into the final round. (Font 10-9, 39-37 Font)
 

Font-Garbrandt; Round 3

Font continues to apply the pressure and snapping the jab at will. A combination by Garbrandt. Font fires back with a right hand. Garbrandt's nose is busted up and bloody. An uppercut lands for Font. Garbrandt attempts a takedown but is stuffed by Font. 

Font stuffs another takedown. Font is stalking and popping the jab and Garbrandt continues to eat it. (10-9 Font, 29-28 Font)
 

Font-Garbrandt; Round 2

Garbrandt begins the second by notching his third takedown in a little over five minutes. A beautiful sweep by Font and he makes it back to his feet.

Font is getting comfortable as he's popping a crisp jab. Font and Garbrandt miss wildly with power shots. Font is stalking Garbrandt now. A sharp right sends Garbrandt back to the cage. (10-9 Font, 19-19)
 

Font-Garbrandt; Round 1

A calf kick followed by a head kick from Garbrandt. Font and Garbrandt exchange sharp jabs. A high stakes chess match going on here. A one-two by Font wobbles Garbrandt. Font misses a takedown and Garbrandt makes him pay with a head kick. Font is pressing the issue and Garbrandt secures a takedown. 

A right hand connects for Font. Garbrandt walks through it and gets another takedown. Font gets up and Garbrandt lands three straight uppercuts. An extremely close round. (10-9 Garbrandt)
 

Main event time

It's time for the UFC Fight Night main event as No. 3-ranked Rob Font (18-4) faces No. 4-ranked Cody Garbrandt (12-3) in bantamweight action.

Don't get off the couch. This is going to be a striking war at its finest. 
 

Carla Esparza batters Yan Xiaonan to likely earn title shot

Esparza def. Xiaonan via TKO at 2:58 of the second round. 

Esparza delivered one-way traffic from the opening bell to the stoppage. She immediately took Xiaonan down to begin each round and was relentless from there. A sharp elbow near the end of the first changed the complexion of the fight as Xiaonan was gushing blood to begin the second round.

After Esparza scored another takedown in the second, "The Cookie Monster" gobbled Xiaonan up and spit her out. She locked Xiaonan in a crucifix position and poured down a barrage of shots. Seeing Xiaonan wasn't getting out of the position, referee Keith Peterson stopped the fight.

Esparza has won five consecutive fights now. During her post-fight interview, Esparza calls out champion Rose Namajunas. Let's book it. Esparza's done everything possible to earn the chance to become a two-time champion at 115 pounds.


 

 


 

 

Xiaonan-Esparza; Round 2

Xiaonan is bloody as the second round begins. Esparza is on the attack and scores another takedown. Hard punches from Esparza. Xiaonan has no answer. Esparza is raining down a series of punches. This fight could be stopped at any time. And there it is as referee Keith Peterson steps in to stop the fight. 
 

Xiaonan-Esparza; Round 1

Esparza immediately rushes in for a takedown and secures it. Huge start for the first 115-pound champion. Espraza's in a solid side control position but not doing much with it. Xiaonan with two sharp elbows which forces Esparza to alter her position. 

Esparza is trying to get into a better position to lock in a submission but is unsuccessful in her attempt. Esparza pours down a series of short elbows to end the round. (Esparza 10-8)
 

Co-main event time

It's time for the co-main event of UFC Fight Night as No. 3-ranked Yan Xiaonan (13-1, one no-contest) battles No. 4-ranked Carla Esparza (18-6) in women's strawweight action. 

Big stakes here. The winner sets herself up to challenge champion Rose Namajunas. This should be a good one.
 

Jared Vanderaa wins bloody slugfest over Justin Tafa

Vanderaa def. Tafa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

The fight came down to volume and variety of strikes for Vanderaa. He mixed up his punches, body kicks and threw them at will. Vanderaa had to overcome some adversity in the second round as a left hand from Tafa caused a severe gash in the upper left corner of his forehead. Blood poured down Vanderaa's face for the remainder of the round.

Vanderaa's corner did an excellent job closing the cut but it reopened with about two minutes left in the fight. That didn't deter Vanderaa from coming forward until the final bell to secure the victory.

A gutsy performance from Vanderaa in what was the best fight of the night up to this point.
 

Time for the big boys

Coming up at UFC Fight Night, Justin Tafa (4-2) squares off Jared Vanderaa (11-5) in heavyweight action. 
 

Norma Dumont beats Felicia Spencer in exciting fight

Dumont def. Spencer via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28).

The judges scorecards were all over the place. Can see 29-28 either way but 30-27 was a little out there considering Spencer clearly won the third round. 

The first two rounds were contested on the feet with a stalemate in the opening round and Dumont letting her hands go in the second and landing the crisper and more effective strikes. During the third round, Spencer secured a takedown and controlled the remainder of the stanza but it wasn't enough in the judges' eyes.

That's back-to-back wins for Dumont. Is she a contender for women's featherweight champion Amanda Nunes? The dual champion is in dire need of contenders and why not Dumont?

 
 

The headliners are in the building

Cody Garbrandt and Rob Font have arrived at the UFC Apex.
 

Former UFC title challenger returns

Right now at UFC Fight Night, Felicia Spencer (8-2) faces Norma Dumont (5-1) in women's featherweight action. Spencer returns for the first time since losing to champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 250. Dumont is coming off a unanimous decision win over Ashlee Evans-Smith at the end of November.
 

Ricardo Ramos out grapples Bill Algeo for decision win

Ramos def. Algeo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). 

Neither really pulled away from the other but it came down to the takedowns for Ramos as he scored eight of them in the contest. Any time he sensed Algeo would get into a rhythm on the feet, Ramos dropped him to the mat. 

Ramos is inching closer to being in the rankings in the featherweight division as he's now won three of his last four.

 
 

Bantamweights on deck

Up next at UFC Fight Night, Ricardo Ramos (14-3) meets Bill Algeo (14-5) in featherweight action. Ramos doesn't get paid by the hour as seven of his wins have come in the first round. 
 

Jack Hermansson gets back in the win column

Jack Hermansson def. Edmen Shahbazyan via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27).

The fight came down to the third and final round after the judges had Shahbazyan winning the first and Hermansson the second. Early in the stanza, Hermansson went to his bread and butter and notched a key takedown. From there, Hermansson went to work. He continuously landed heavy punches, elbows and looked for submission attempts to get a 10-8 third round to secure the victory.

That was a much-needed win for Hermansson. Can he now make a run in a talent-rich middleweight division?
 

Top 10 middleweights kick things off

The main card of UFC Fight Night begins with No. 7-ranked Jack Hermansson taking on No. 10-ranked Edmen Shahbazyan in middleweight action.

Hermansson's (21-6) lost two of his last three, including his last time out when he lost via unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori in December. 

Shahbazyan (11-1) suffered his first career defeat back in August to Derek Brunson via third-round TKO.

A must-win for both guys.
 

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