The opening main card bout of UFC Fight Night 27 wasn't exactly a barnburner, but Brad Tavares was able to do enough to take a unanimous decision victory over Bubba McDaniel. The middleweights were a bit tentative over the first two rounds, but Tavares got the best of them with his striking and takedown defense despite taking a headbutt in the middle stanza. Bubba won the third with top control, but he wasn't ever close to finishing. All three judges had it 29-28 for the Hawaiian, who moves to 6-1 in the UFC.
Tavares started out with some kicks for a while before McDaniel clinched up with him. Tavares wasn't going down though, so McDaniel landed a night straight left. Tavares briefly got McDaniel down, but he wasn't messing with his guard and let him up. They ended up in another extended clinch battle with neither man getting an advantage.
The second round saw Tavares putting together some nice combinations, and Tavares scored a knockdown. McDaniel immediately returned to his feet though, and eventually got a push takedown on an off-balance Tavares. The Hawaiian was up quick and went back to his kicking game. Tavares got a brief takedown and was almost reversed, but managed to hold position - until he backed out and returned to the feet. He kicked the legs of a downed Bubba for the rest of the round.
Bubba opened the final stanza with a solid shot and clinched up. Tavares landed a low kick that caused a brief delay. McDaniel got a nice double leg takedown with three minutes to go. Tavares kept McDaniel at bay looking for a kimura, and defended well when Bubba tried to take his back. The clocked ticked down to zero with Tavares not in much danger.