01 Jan Rob Font: Aljamain Sterling is ‘a tougher puzzle to solve’ than Petr Yan
Rob Font has his eyes on the competition at the top of the bantamweight division.
His own spot is firmly entrenched after winning an impressive decision over former world champion Cody Garbrandt in the main event of UFC Vegas 27 on Saturday. For five rounds, Font out-struck Garbrandt to secured his fourth straight victory and prove that his current surge is for real.
There aren’t many opponents standing in the way of a title shot, but Font knows that he’ll likely have to wait for current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling to settle his business with Petr Yan after their first meeting ended in a controversial disqualification that saw Yan lose his belt to Sterling.
With Font seemingly destined to cross paths with either man, he was asked for his assessment of them at Saturday’s post-fight press conference.
“I think Aljamain might be a tougher puzzle to solve,” Font said. “Petr Yan’s similar to Cody. You know, stay long, long jab, and then run into something big. Aljamain’s a little trickier because of the wrestling and his length. But Aljamain, same thing, I think it will be boxing him up, stop a couple of takedowns and then straight box him up.
“And then same thing for Petr Yan. Just not get hit with big shots and box him up as well.”
Font’s win over Garbrandt continues a career-best stretch that includes victories over one-time title challenger Marlon Moraes, Ricky Simon, and Sergio Pettis, the latter of whom won Bellator’s bantamweight championship earlier this month.
This run has answered a lot of questions surrounding Font’s status as an elite fighter and he remembers well the past losses that slowed his rise up the ranks.
“I’ve had these opportunities before and didn’t capitalize on them,” Font said. “I’ve got the Lineker fights, the Assuncao fights, and the Munhoz fights, so this obviously I’m proud of what I’ve done, but I feel like it’s just like, alright, finally. I should have done it before. I’ve got this second chance and I’m just taking advantage of the second chance.”
As it stands, the rest of the division has to wait for a rematch between Sterling and Yan, which is dependent on when Sterling is ready to compete again after recovering from neck surgery.
Font said he would “love” to compete for an interim title, but otherwise he’s prepared to wait for a fight with Sterling or Yan, or the winner of a rescheduled meeting between T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen. As long as it’s a name that’s ahead of him in the rankings, Font is ready to go.
“I feel like I’ve still got to sit back and wait,” Font said “It sucks. I could have dominated or I could have knocked [Garbrandt] out, I’d still have to sit back and wait. I definitely don’t want to fight backwards so I learn patient, I’ll be patient.”