Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
New England MMA fans who tuned into ESPN+ Saturday night to see New Englander Rob Font (19-4, #3 Ranked Bantamweight in the UFC) take part in what appears to be the first of many headlining bouts on the horizon for the Boston based Bantamweight Contender, were treated to an absolute spectacle! Font waged war with former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt (12-4, #4 Ranked Bantamweight in the UFC)) for five full rounds and when the final horn sounded the only thing that hit more than Rob Font's left jab, was the ESPN commentary crew's references to Fonts former career as a pizza delivery driver. Well tonight it was the jab that Font was delivering, straight to the chin of the former champion Garbrandt who would absorb 176 significant strikes over the course of their 5 round main attraction as Font's strikes landed at an overwhelming 48% clip.
Font really only seemed to be slightly tested by the wrestling of Garbrandt in the first round, which ended up being the only real close round of the fight. Font's corner of Calvin Kattar, Tyson Chartier and Jake Mainini coached Font to some immediate adjustments on the stool between the first two rounds that Font clearly found success with, nullifying Garbrandt's takedowns for the remainder of the contest. With Font's feet securely under him he started to take aim with what is now being dubbed "the best jab in the sport" as he used his sizable 5 inch reach advantage to keep Cody on the end of his punches. Font mixed in some sharp kicks as well as some well timed knees in the clinch to piece up the former Champion on his way to a lopsided Unanimous Decision (48-47, 50-54, 50-45), and the biggest victory of his career!
There is no doubt that Font has secured his spot in title contention, making it four wins in a row inside the UFC's octagon. However the water's atop the UFC's Bantamweight division remain somewhat murky, Champion Aljamain Sterling (19-4) was awarded the belt in March when his fight with former Champion Petr Yan (15-2) ended in the fourth round due to an illegal knee by Yan. Leading most of the MMA world to believe Yan will receive an immediate rematch with Sterling the next time the belt is fought for. That leaves Cory Sandhagen (14-2) as the only other man ranked ahead of Font going into the fight with Garbrandt, Sandhagen is scheduled to welcome the return of former Champion TJ Dillashaw (16-4) who served a two year suspension for PED usage, this July in the Main Event at UFC Vegas 32. So there is still a lot be played out, but after tonight's performance by Rob Font, The New England Cartel has a serious argument for a shot at the UFC Bantamweight strap!