Rob Font has his eyes on a shot at the UFC bantamweight title ahead of his upcoming bout with a former world champion.
Font will face Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC Vegas 44, which takes place Dec. 4 at the UFC APEX. The 34-year-old has won four straight fights, including a first-round TKO win over Marlon Moraes and a lopsided unanimous decision win over Cody Garbrant in his last two appearances, and is inching close to a championship opportunity.
Right now, Aljamain Sterling is the current 135-pound champion after capturing the title from Petr Yan via disqualification for an illegal knee at UFC 259, while Yan became an interim champion after defeating Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 in October.
But in the eyes of Font, Yan is the division’s true top fighter.
“It sucks, man, because you have to look at Yan and his performance and consider him the champion,” Font told MMA Fighting. “It wasn’t like Sterling was putting together clean combinations and hitting him with anything real clean. It was never going to stop Yan from coming forward and the shots weren’t set up, they were, whatever type of shots so he was never really in that fight like that.
“Then he obviously got hit with the knee, and it sucks. But I guess, to answer your question, I would consider Yan the champion right now.”
Aldo, who was stopped by Yan in the fifth round at UFC 251 in his quest to become the bantamweight champion, has won his last two fights with dominant decision wins over Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz.
With a title unification bout looking imminent between Sterling and Yan, plus former champion T.J. Dillashaw is coming off of a controversial decision win over Sandhagen in July after his return from his USADA suspension, Font knows a win over Aldo would make a big statement towards getting his first title shot — but it might not be enough.
“It puts me right in there for title contention,” Font said. “Beating a guy like that — and this would be my fifth straight win — you can’t deny that I’m there.
“But it’s tough because the division is all jacked up. Sterling’s still out, Cory is still in the mix even though he lost two in a row, then you have T.J. coming back. Even after this win, I still think I’ll have one more before I get a real title shot.”