Rob Font is happy to wait to see how the bantamweight title picture plays out, but there are a couple of matchups outside of it that might interest him - just not against Dominick Cruz.
Font is coming off of a unanimous decision win in his first UFC main event against former champion Cody Garbrandt, earning a dominant unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 27. It was Font’s fourth straight victory and one that puts him a step closer towards title contention.
The problem is there’s a current logjam at the top at 135 pounds with Aljamain Sterling recovering from neck surgery as he readies himself to defend his newly won title for the first time against - most likely - Petr Yan in their second encounter. Meanwhile, the Cory Sandhagen vs. T.J. Dillashaw matchup has been officially rebooked as the main event for the UFC’s July 24 fight card.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Font revealed that a quick turnaround against Yan- should he not want to wait until the end of the year to fight again - would be the “best case scenario.” When asked about legacy-type fights against names such as Jose Aldo - set to face Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265 - and Dominick Cruz, he favored one name over the other.
“Maybe the Aldo fight [would interest me],” Font told MMA Fighting “The Cruz one, not so much. He’s nowhere near that belt at all [while] Jose is a little closer. [Dominick] has the name but nobody’s dying to watch Dominick Cruz fight. If anything, I’d probably fight Sean O’Malley before I’d fight Dominick Cruz.”
O’Malley is set to face Louis Smolka at UFC 264 on July 10. Font isn’t necessarily clamoring for a matchup with O’Malley right now because of where he sits in the exciting bantamweight division, but it seems he would entertain the idea over a matchup with another former champion in Cruz.
“That’s the guy that’s kind of buzzing right now,” Font said of O’Malley. “He’s got that name and I can’t wait for him to fight [next]. Nobody is sitting here dying to watch Dominick Cruz fight. But I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind watching a ‘Sugar’ Sean fight. I think he’s the bigger name if anything.”
“I don’t want to fight backwards,” Font continued. “If it comes down to it, I’m assuming the Jose Aldo-Pedro Punhoz fight will be good. If Munhoz wins, I can avenge that loss. If Jose Aldo wins, that’s a pretty big name to jump in there with.
“Realistically, I would rather wait to see how everything else plays out.”
Font was listed on the UFC Vegas 27 medical suspensions, requiring X-rays of his right tibia and fibula, ankle and foot. If positive, he needs clearance from an orthopedic doctor or be unable to compete until Nov. 19. At minimum, Font is suspended until June 22.
The Massachusetts native revealed that the injury isn’t serious and he should be cleared to resume training soon.
“It’s good now,” Font said. “I think I kicked his elbow. I’m not sure, but it was just swollen. I thought I might’ve broke it but it’s fine. The swelling already went down, I just need to have better aim with my kicks.”
While his next move isn’t clear, Font says his phone will be on, including if something were to happen again to the Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw fight in July.
“One hundred percent [I’d step in],” Font stated. “That’s the biggest reason why I want to get back to it because those are high paced fights. Those guys bring it and they’re both super well-rounded so I need to get back to it.
“I don’t want anything to happen [to either of those guys], but if it did I’m the guy to call.”