Rob Font has just scored the biggest victory of his career, but finds himself in a rare conundrum of wondering what his next move will be.
The Massachusetts native used his superior boxing prowess against former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt en route to a dominant unanimous decision victory in the main event of UFC Vegas 27.
The fight went exactly as he had hoped, but the fallout from the breakout performance left Font, and many MMA pundits scratched their heads on how to track this big win.
“It’s a great relief,” Font told MMA Fighting. “It’s kind of like you say, you believe it, you can think about it all day long, but when it goes exactly as you planned, it’s even better.
“Now I’m just in a weird situation where I don’t know who I’m up against next.
Font has now won four in a row, and five of six after his first UFC main event. The New England Cartel co-founder beat Garbrandt by 113 significant strikes over the five rounds, with his total of 176 significant strikes in total, breaking his previous career record set in his decision victory over Sergio Pettis in the UFC on FOX 31 in December 2018.
While Font was hoping to stop Garbrandt in two rounds, he believes the result was better in the long run.
“It worked perfectly, man,” Font said. “We had to be smart. We had to be really gentle with our jab and our cross, not to go too big. I got a little fat sometimes but my corner was able to put me back in place. I didn’t get that finish, that’s what we wanted, but this kid was tough. He resisted and took some heavy hits. I hit him with a few neat punches, but I can’t complain. We’ve got the W, we’re in, we’re out, and we’re healthy – a few bumps and bruises, but that’s about it.
“But [it’s almost better that it went the distance] because it puts people in the minds that I can hit with the best of them, or it wasn’t just a lucky punch. It showed I could fit in there and cardio wasn’t a problem. I really feel like I’m getting better throughout the rounds. I’m so pushed into the fight that the fight is just another day for me. But it definitely worked better that way because I got to experience the full five laps and can go through the full five laps at a high pace, at a high pace with a dangerous striker. Nobody stand in front of Cody like that, survive that long [and wins]. I took his pictures, he took mine and we both went. I had more pressure and more energy, a little more enthusiastic than him that night. Sometimes you’re fair and I was definitely on it.
With the loss, Garbrandt has now lost four of his last five fights. “No Love” returned after a 15-month layoff at UFC 250 and delivered one of the best knockouts of 2020 against Raphael Assuncao just before the horn sounded at the end of the second round.
For now, the path is not clear for Font, who has certainly earned his place among the elite of the division. As current champion Aljamain Sterling recovers from neck surgery in hopes of a November return to his first title defense, Petr Yan appears to be the most likely candidate to take him back with Sterling after losing the belt by disqualification at UFC 259 due to an illegal knee. .
Additionally, the bout between surging Cory Sandhagen and returning TJ Dillashaw is set to make headlines in the UFC’s July 24 event with extremely high stakes.
After defeating a former world champion, Font was asked to give his best script with the current blockage in one of the deepest and most exciting divisions in the UFC.
“Best case scenario? They give me Petr Yan now and we get it going,” Font said. “Maybe do it for an interim belt, but I doubt that will happen. We’ll see what happens. , but give me Petr Yan. He’s the only one available, fans want to see exciting fights and I know it’s an exciting fight and then I’ll take care of the belt for him. Sit down, don’t worry not for the belt, I’ll take it for him.
“Or, the loser, the winner, whoever it is, of the Cory Sandhagen-TJ Dillashaw fight. But I certainly don’t want to wait that long. But you never know what happens if someone gets hurt, gets hurt, that’s another waiting list I could potentially be on. In reality, I know I don’t want to fight backwards. I will be patient. I sat for a year and I know what it feels like. There is no need to fight anyone behind me right now.
Regardless of who Font stands across the next octagon, he knows he will have his hands full. Much like he did before the opportunity to face Garbrandt presented itself, Font plans to return to the gym as soon as possible to prepare for everything to come – including a hopeful match with Yan s ‘he wanted to get back to action in the meantime. for Sterling to return to the octagon.
“If he wants to throw it, we can jump in there and mix it up if he doesn’t want to wait that long,” Font said. “I’m in a weird place and it’s nothing but big fights after that so my job is to lick my wounds, go back to the gym and get ready because it’s either going to be TJ, Cory, Petr Yan, be the champion and all. of these fights are difficult.