UFC Vegas 44 took place Dec. 4 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Rob Font squared off with former featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the evening’s bantamweight main event, which aired live on ESPN+.
Catch more video highlights below.
For more on Font vs. Aldo, check out the live blog from MMA Fighting.
Font active early with forward moving, using kicks to get Aldo looking early and switching stances. Aldo still getting his bearings, and fires back with kicks to the body on the break. Font trying to find that straight right, and suddenly ducks under to grab the body lock and drag down Aldo, who instantly pops up and fights the hands as they hit the fence. Body lock sets up takedown, but Aldo fence grab stops it, and ref Keith Peterson doesn’t see. Font goes back to work on the takedown, and Aldo is able to turn off and right himself. Font on point with his combinations and rips the body. Pace and movement keeping Aldo very off balance, and he’s swinging wide as Font goes in and out with fast combinations. Lead uppercut and elbow from Font, the latter of which is good. Less than two minutes to go, and Font is starting to pull ahead. Swinging right hook from Font off the jab, and Aldo moving well to avoid. Aldo rips to the body and follows with a jab. Best punch of the round. Font repays without the same impact and continues to search for that right. Aldo defends a nice combo of punches downstairs and up. One-two down the pipe hurts Font bad, dropping him to the canvas. Aldo pounces and is about to take mount when he runs out of time.
Aldo’s near stoppage saves him the round, 10-9.
How will Font recover from the end of the first? He’s attacking the leg early. Aldo just waiting for his time to counter back, defending in the meantime. Font replicating the strategy of the first round before the wild swing, ripping outside to the body and using pressure and volume to upset Aldo’s rhythm. The difference this time is it appears Aldo doesn’t much respect Font’s punching power. He’s on the advance now, and another one-two cracks Font, sending him backpedaling. Quickly, Aldo gets back to his jab, but Aldo is just standing there, intercepting, blocking or slipping the attempts, ready to fire back with superior firepower. Font may be winning points with activity, but the damaging shots come from Aldo’s right hand, which again finds its target. Less than two minutes left, and Aldo moves in with wide hooks before going back to kicks. Font nearly catches a knee and then gets caught with a right. He presses back with a flurry, kicking low. A shot isn’t properly set up and is stuffed. Aldo beats the body with a pair of hooks. Font comes charging and glances off the head in the final exchange.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Aldo, who’s up 20-18.
Aldo’s leg kick makes its first good appearance as Font advances. Heavy jabs from Font opposite those kicks, and they’re going toe-to-toe. Font’s left eye is swelling badly. Aldo is back on the offense and he tries to take down Aldo with a trip. Aldo takes the opportunity to secure half-mount, and he works to advance, wrapping the head before taking side control. Font tries to tie up and then tries to elevate before settling on guard. Armbar thought from Font, and Aldo pushes him back. Font trying to shrimp away, and Aldo follows to get back to half-guard. Font pushes back to his feet and tries to unload with punches, prompting Aldo to push him off. Something has damaged Aldo’s right eye, which is swelling bad. Font nails the body and continues to press forward. Font with an elbow over the top. This time, his volume is winning the game, but a kick sweeps him off the feet. Another one, and they trade heavy hooks. Font presses in and works straight punches. Now it’s Aldo’s right eye that appears swollen. Another Aldo leg special. Font charges back and looks for a shot as time runs out.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Font, and the score is 29-28 Aldo.
Aldo’s right eye is now almost completely swollen, and Font pounces early, letting his hands go. Aldo again nails that one-two and follows with a knee. Font is instantly in trouble, scrambling to gain his bearings, and another shot knocks him down. Aldo pounces again and ends up in half-guard, and the action pauses as both men nurse bad eyes. Font’s left eye is in a bad way, and he grimaces as Aldo moves to side control. Font works to stand as Aldo tries to pass. Aldo back to half-guard, content to hold position for now. Aldo tries to free his foot to mount, and he gets to three-quarter. Font fights back to full guard and pops a few elbows from the bottom. Arm crank from Font, who realizes it’s a very bad idea to hang out on the bottom. He’s making Aldo work, but not having much luck getting to his feet. More elbows from Font, and they’re scoring well. Aldo not doing much at all from the bottom, though he’s sharp enough to counter all of Font’s attempts to escape. Font finally shrimps back, and Aldo takes mount. Font again recovers to half-guard and tries to wrap an arm before a few reverse elbows. Time runs out with Aldo on top.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Aldo, who’s up 39-37.
Font again opens up on the feet, firing away with punches. Aldo fighting backward and moving laterally. Jabs to intercept Font, whose tempo is high. Font leaps with a knee but is forced to back up, and Aldo presses into the clinch, where Font pushes him back to the cage. Font using head control, and Aldo takes an elbow before Font escapes. Aldo moves forward and tries to get one back only to hit the fence as Font ducks under and smothers him. Kness in the clinch as Font stays busy, Aldo working to defend himself and base out so he doesn’t hit the mat. Another elbow from Font in close, and they pummell for position. Another elbow and right from Font, and Aldo charges back and lands a right that hurts Font. All at once, Font is again on thin ice, and another right and left hook drop Font. Aldo again moves to finish and rolls into mount, trying to take the back and get the choke as Font scrambles to escape. Aldo can’t get the angle, but Font isn’t going anywhere with one minute left. Finally, Font gives up his back, and Aldo secures the body triangle. Font fights the hands as Aldo works to finish. Bar-arm transition from Aldo, and Font is in trouble. He turns his head and manages to survive yet again, but he can’t roll out of the position, and the fight ends with Aldo on top.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Aldo, who takes the 49-46 decision.