We’re back at the Apex this weekend for UFC Vegas 27, with Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt competing in a bantamweight bout in the main event. The main card has six intriguing bouts, but the UFC Vegas 27 prelims should not be underestimated with seven exciting fights featuring a solid mix of veterans and prospects.
UFC Vegas 27 Prelims Preview
Bill Algeo (14-5) vs Ricardo Ramos (14-3)
Bill “Senor Perfecto” Algeo bids for his second victory in the UFC since joining in 2020. His last victory came at UFC Vegas 15, where he outstruck his featherweight opponent Spike Carlyle. After three rounds all judges saw the fight unanimously in Algeo’s favor. Though Algeo is strong on the feet, he’s a well-rounded fighter who has six submissions to his name. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has won multiple championships in his time. He’s also an all-state wrestler and an undefeated professional Muay Thai fighter.
The former Cage Fury and Ring of Combat Featherweight Champion made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 8 against the ruthless Ricardo Lamas. A tough, experienced opponent for Algeo to face in his first bout in the promotion. All judges scored the contest 29-27 in Lamas’ favor, but both fighters earned a Fight of the Night bonus.
Ricardo “Carcacinha” Ramos has been with the promotion since 2016 when he appeared on Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight at New England Fights. He certainly impressed the UFC president with a second-round submission over Alfred Khashakyan. Ramos then joined the UFC in 2017, where he won his first three fights including a spinning back elbow which earned him a Performance of the Night bonus against Aiemann Zahabi.
Ramos has worked hard to be where he is today after having a tough upbringing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He often got into fights in his teens and his father stuck him in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, but he was kicked out of his home at the age of 14 and according to Ramos he stayed in mixed martial arts gyms up until the age of 21. The Brazilian will be desperate to bounce back from the defeat in his last fight suffered at the hands of the English prospect Lerone Murphy.
This one could prove to be an exciting contest between the two featherweights on the UFC Vegas 27 prelims. Ramos is still only 25-years-old, so there’s plenty of time for him to prove himself. Both fighters have well-rounded skillets with submission and TKO/KO victories.
Ben Rothwell (38-13) vs Chris Barnett (21-6)
It’s been a disaster trying to find a fight for Ben Rothwell this year, as he looks to finally return to the Octagon after four cancellations this year alone. Rothwell was originally meant to fight Philipe Lins in March at UFC Vegas 21, but the bout was rescheduled for May due to an undisclosed injury. Lins was not medically cleared to fight on May 8th, so the fight was moved to this weekend’s event, but Lins withdrew for an undisclosed reason.
Ukrainian Askar Mozharov was due to step in, but he was unable to travel because of visa issues to make his UFC debut. Chris Barnett stepped in a week ago to make his promotional debut against the heavyweight veteran on the UFC Vegas 27 prelims.
Rothwell made his professional MMA debut 20 years ago, in January 2001 and it wasn’t until his 37th fight when he made the walk for the first time in the UFC. The date was October 24th, 2009 and Rothwell faced undefeated heavyweight at the time and future UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Rothwell was stepping in as a big underdog at UFC 104, and he faced the wrath of Velasquez in the second round when he was finished via TKO.
The American has fought in some brilliant fights over the years though and he will certainly be remembered by the hardcore MMA fans. He’s finished the likes of Brendan Schaub, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett in his long career, which all earned him bonuses. His most recent victories came against Stefan Struve and Ovince St Preux and Rothwell’s most recent loss came in his last fight at UFC Fight Island 5 against Marcin Tybura.
Barnett has been on a rampage in his most recent fights outside the UFC, with no defeats in his last six bouts. He’s an extremely heavy hitter with 16 TKO/KO wins in his 21 victories. In 2011, Barnett beat current UFC heavyweight Walt Harris via unanimous decision, when the pair competed in World Extreme Fighting.
“Beast Boy” Barnett is significantly smaller out of the two, which could play as a big advantage in Rothwell’s favor if he looks to take him down and add the 13th submission to his record.
Claudio Silva (14-2) vs Court McGee (19-10)
Two more veterans go to war on the UFC Vegas 27 prelims with Brazilian Claudio “Hannibal” Silva facing Court “The Crusher” Mcgee in a welterweight matchup. Both fighters last fought in October 2020, where they both faced defeats on separate events.
38-year-old Silva made his MMA debut in 2007 in Ultimate Warrior Challenge in England, where he was living at the time with his aunt in an effort to perfect his Jiu-Jitsu. His debut didn’t go to plan after an illegal elbow from Silva ended the fight short, with his opponent Matt Thorpe taking the victory.
Silva learned from his actions in the first fight and showed the skills he had in his locker. Leading up to him joining the UFC in 2014, he went on a nine-fight win-streak, finishing eight of his opponents. Silva proved his brilliant ground game when he joined the promotion beating the likes of Leon Edwards on a split decision and submitting his last three opponents before his decision loss to James Krause in his last fight in October.
The Ultimate Fighter 11 Middleweight Champion McGee will be desperate to get a win on his record as he edges closer to the end of his career. The American has one win since 2017, losing five of his last six fights. His last victory was via unanimous decision against Alex Garcia at UFC Fight Night 138 in October 2018.
Earlier in his life, McGee was taken down a dark path, where he became addicted to heroin and cocaine. Following an overdose, McGee was announced deceased for eight minutes. He was resuscitated and as a result of the damage caused by temporary death to the brain, he had to learn to walk and talk again. He got himself cleaned up and became an assistant wrestling coach in a high school and started to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. The rest is history.
McGee was living the dream when he submitted Kris McCray in 2010 to win season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter. He had a 12-1 record and won two more fights within the UFC before his career escalated. Since 2012, McGee has five wins and nine defeats. Incredibly one of those victories came against “The Reaper” Robert Whittaker on a split decision. In his last three bouts, he’s lost to Dhiego Lima, Sean Brady, and Carlos Condit.
Victor Rodriguez (7-3) vs Bruno Silva (11-5-2)
Victor “Vicious” Rodriguez will be looking for his first win in the Octagon when he comes up against the “Bulldog” Bruno Silva on the UFC Vegas 27 prelims. Denys Bondar was originally meant to face Rodriguez, but Silva stepped in to replace him.
Rodriguez made his debut in the promotion at UFC Vegas 12 in October 2020 against the dangerous Adrian Yanez. In the first round, Rodriguez faced a jaw-dropping head-kick which was too much to handle and the impact knocked him out cold. He’s shown in previous fights that he has brilliant knock-out power, with all seven of his victories coming via TKO/KO.
Silva fought only two months ago when he put on a show against UFC newcomer J.P Buys at UFC Vegas 22. A stunning counter right saw Silva finish Buys and earn himself a Performance of the Night bonus in his first fight since his defeat against Tagir Ulanbekov.
He fought in many Brazilian promotions before joining the UFC, whilst he also appeared in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4 in 2015. He lost at the quarter-final stage after being submitted by Dileno Lopes.
Watch out for the quick hands of these two fighters, as we expect fireworks from the get-go. Also, Rodriguez appears at flyweight for the first time in his career.
Joshua Culibao (8-1-1) vs Yilan Sha (19-6)
Joshua “Kuya” Culibao is another fighter on the hunt for his first win inside the promotion. It was despair in his last bout after a back and forth battle ended in a split draw against Charles Jourdain. Jalin Turner finished Culibao and ended his undefeated record when he finished him in his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night Auckland.
Culibao fought in his home country Australia before being signed up by the UFC in 2020. He built a record of 8-0, with five TKO/KO victories which earned him three belts in separate promotions.
Yilan “Wolverine” Sha is one of the biggest prospects China has to offer and it’s been a long time coming till he got his shot in the UFC. Sha has fought in lightweight for the majority of his career, and Saturday night will be his third appearance in featherweight.
Sha has fought in Chinese promotions all of his life, and in his last eight fights, he’s only been on the losing side once. He’s a versatile fighter with nine TKO/KO wins and five submissions also. So, this fight is definitely another exciting and unpredictable contest on the UFC Vegas 27 prelims.
Yancy Medeiros (15-7) vs Damir Hadzovic (13-6)
Madeiros has only fought three times since 2018 and tasted defeat on all three occasions. He was TKO’d by Gregor Gillespie and Donald Cerrone, as well as losing to Lando Vannata via unanimous decision in his last bout in February 2020. Madeiros has put in stunning performances in the promotion, earning him five bonuses along the way.
Hadzovic has seven TKO/KO’s and three submissions in his 10 victories. The Bosnian joined the UFC in 2016 after competing in the likes of Cage Warriors and several other promotions. Hadzovic has lost his last two fights against Renato Moicano and Christos Giagos.
Damir Ismagulov (22-1) vs Rafael Alves (19-9)
Ismagulov has only been defeated once in his career, back in 2015 when he lost on via unanimous decision to Ramazan Esenbaev. The M-1 Challenge Champion joined the UFC in 2018 and has only fought three times, winning each fight via unanimous decision. His last victory was over Thiago Moises in August 2019.
Alves is on a five-fight win streak, with the former Titan FC Lightweight Champion making his debut in the promotion. Alves has seven TKO/KO’s and seven submissions in his career, with his last finish coming in Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020.
Which fight are you most looking forward to on the UFC Vegas 27 prelims? Let us know your predictions in the comments below!
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images