Rob Font is back in the bantamweight title mix following his recent knockout of Adrian Yanez, and when he peers ahead to the division’s next title bout — Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo on May 6 — he sees a tough challenge ahead for the UFC’s reigning champ.
“That’s going to be a fun fight, man,” Font said recently of UFC 288’s main event on The MMA Hour. “I’m excited for that fight. I think the build-up and the lead-up to the fight is going to be interesting. You don’t know what they’re going to do.
“It’s hard to really pick against Henry. He’s beaten a lot of big names and obviously he’s got the whole Olympic medal, two belts. He’s a fun, entertaining guy. There’s a whole character behind him. [But] the champ, man, he’s doing his thing lately.” Font continued.
“[Sterling] is the bigger fighter, he’s the longer fighter. He’s a wrestler, but obviously you’d have to give Henry the edge on wrestling, on-paper. But this is MMA. If [Sterling] can kind of stay long with his shots and be real tricky, which he does anyway with his kicks and elbows, it can make the takedown a lot easier. But trying to hold down a smaller, shorter wrestler like that is damn near impossible, man. Those guys want to just pop up.”
Sterling, 33, is currently MMA Fighting’s No. 7 ranked pound-for-pound male fighter. “Funk Master” has been brilliant over the past five years, winning eight consecutive fights and twice defending his UFC bantamweight title against Petr Yan and T.J. Dillashaw. He’s also the only fighter in MMA to finish top contender Cory Sandhagen, which he did with a masterful rear-naked choke submission in just 88 seconds back in June 2020.
But Cejudo, 36, may represent his toughest test yet.
The only person to win an Olympic gold medal and a UFC title, Cejudo captured and defended belts at both flyweight and bantamweight prior his MMA retirement in 2020. When he walked away, “Triple C” rode a six-fight win streak over the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz, and current Bellator champion Sergio Pettis.
With a résumé like that, it’s no wonder many experts have picked Cejudo to defeat Sterling at UFC 288 and pick up right where he left off. Font, however, is conflicted.
“It’s an interesting fight, man. I guess my money says I [think] Henry [is going to] win, but I think I want to see the champ keep doing his thing and get the belt and defend against Henry,” Font said. “So I’m going with Aljamain on this one.”