Rob Font is happy to wait and see how the bantamweight title image unfolds, but there are a few clashes outside of that that he might be interested in – but not against Dominick Cruz.
Font comes off a unanimous decision in his first UFC main event over former champion Cody Garbrandt, winning a dominant unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 27. It was Font’s fourth consecutive victory and one that has him. closer to the title claim.
Problem is, there is a current lockdown at the top at 135 pounds with Aljamain Sterling recovering from neck surgery as he prepares to defend his newly won title for the first time against – quite possibly – Petr Yan during their second meeting. Meanwhile, the Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw game was officially revamped as the main event for the UFC fight card on July 24.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Font revealed that a quick turnaround against Yan – if he didn’t want to wait until the end of the year to fight again – would be the “best case scenario”. Asked about legacy-type fights against names like Jose Aldo – who is set to face Pedro Munhoz in UFC 265 – and Dominick Cruz, he preferred one name over the other.
“Maybe the Aldo fight [would interest me]”Font told MMA Fighting” Cruz’s, not so much. He’s far from that belt at all [while] Jose is a little closer. [Dominick] has the name but no one is dying to see Dominick Cruz fight. If anything, I would probably fight Sean O’Malley before fighting Dominick Cruz.
O’Malley is set to face Louis Smolka at UFC 264 on July 10. Font isn’t necessarily claiming a match with O’Malley right now because of his place in the exciting bantamweight division, but it looks like he would be entertaining the idea on a match with another former champion in Cruz.
“He’s the guy that’s buzzing right now,” Font said of O’Malley. “He has that name and I can’t wait for him to fight [next]. No one is sitting here dying to see Dominick Cruz fight. But I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind watching a “Sugar” Sean fight. I think he’s the biggest name if anything.
“I don’t want to fight backwards,” Font continued. “If it comes down to that, I guess the fight between Jose Aldo-Pedro Punhoz will be good. If Munhoz wins, I can avenge this loss. If Jose Aldo wins, he’s a very big name to intervene with.
“Realistically, I’d rather wait and see how everything else unfolds.”
Font was listed on UFC Vegas 27 medical suspensions, requiring x-rays of his right shin and fibula, ankle and foot. If he is positive, he needs authorization from an orthopedist or cannot compete before November 19. At a minimum, Font is suspended until June 22.
The Massachusetts native revealed the injury was not serious and he should be allowed to return to training soon.
“It’s okay now,” Font said. “I think I kicked him in the elbow. I’m not sure, but it was just swollen. I thought I might have broken it but it’s okay. The swelling has already decreased, I just need to aim better with my kicks.
While his next move isn’t clear, Font says his phone will be on, including if anything happens again during Sandhagen’s fight against Dillashaw in July.
“One hundred percent [I’d step in]”Font said. “That’s the main reason I want to come back to it because it’s really fast paced fights. These guys bring it and they’re both super well-rounded so I have to come back to that.
“I don’t want anything to happen [to either of those guys], but if so, I’m the guy to call.