UFC bantamweight contender Rob Font believes he’ll need a couple more victories before he earns a shot at 135-pound gold.
Since an inconsistent start in the promotion saw him go 5-3, which included losses to John Lineker, Pedro Munhoz, and Raphael Assunção, Font has been in fine form. After decision wins against Sergio Pettis and Ricky Simón put him back on track, the 34-year-old shot into contention with a TKO victory over former title challenger Marlon Moraes.
Font jumped even closer to the bantamweight title this year with a headlining five-round triumph versus former champ Cody Garbrandt. Having leaped into the top five, the Massachusetts native is set for his second main event of 2021 this weekend at UFC Vegas 44. He’ll face former featherweight kingpin José Aldo.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck, Font said that while his December 4 clash isn’t an interim title opportunity, which he was forced to turn down in October, Aldo is still a huge name that he hopes to use to cement himself further into contention.
“We had to turn it (UFC 267 interim title fight) down, but at the same time it was like, ‘This doesn’t work, but we might have something for you in a couple of weeks after that.’ I kind of had an idea it would be Aldo. So I was like, ‘Yeah, alright, that works, perfect.’ It’s not, obviously, an interim belt, but it’s just as big a name, just as big of a challenge, and it puts me right back into title contention. This’ll be my fifth win (in a row). You can’t deny I’m there (in contention).”
With a win, Font will add yet another former UFC titleholder to his résumé and extend his winning streak to five. Despite that, the #4-ranked contender doesn’t see himself getting a title shot with a victory over “Junior.”
“It’s weird, it’s tough, because the division’s all jacked up. You’ve got Sterling still out, I’m pretty sure Cory is still in the mix, obviously, even though he lost two in a row, and then you’ve got TJ (Dillashaw) coming back. So it’s like, even after this win, I still think I have one more before I even get like, a real title shot.”
Font Targets Dillashaw Or Loser Of Yan vs. Sterling 2
Having revealed his expectation that he’ll have to fight again before securing his first championship opportunity, Rob Font discussed the options he’ll have for 2022 if he emerges victorious on Saturday.
As well as the possibility of facing Cory Sandhagen, who was granted the interim title shot at UFC 267 after Font’s inability to make the date, the 34-year-old mentioned TJ Dillashaw or the loser of the inevitable unification fight between UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling and interim titleholder Petr Yan.
“It’s frustrating (the current bantamweight situation). It’d be more frustrating not knowing when I’m gonna fight. But at least I have options. I feel like I have options, as far as maybe fighting the loser of Aljamain and Yan fight or, you know, maybe get in there with TJ… That’s all cool, but I’ve still gotta win these fights; I’ve gotta win the Aldo fight. I feel like we’re there. I’ve got this fight, then one more fight, obviously Cory Sandhagen’s still out there, too. I just gotta go out there, do my job, and see how this all shapes out.”
Do you think Rob Font will move further into contention with a victory over José Aldo this weekend?