There’s always something so exciting about knowing that a really good UFC fight is on the way. Be it that the fighters linking up are both at the top of their game, or even that you know whatever the outcome of the fight is, you will be hearing about it later on. You can usually tell something big is brewing when UFC odds experts are putting up big numbers going both ways for a fight which can only mean one thing, it’s a not-to-be-missed event. Well, this is exactly the feeling going around with the upcoming UFC Fight Night 188 showdown between Cody Garbrandt and Rob Font.
But who’s looking best going into the May 22nd bout in Las Vegas? Let’s break down each fighter’s chances at coming out with a win and cementing their place as top contenders for the UFC bantamweight championship held by Aljamain Sterling at the moment.
Coming In As The Favorite, Rob Font
A Massachusetts native, UFC bantamweight fighter Rob Font who is currently ranked third in his weight division will have his first taste of headlining a UFC event on May 22nd. He will have the task of facing and trying to take down former bantamweight champion Coby Garbrandt in a fight that most experts are considering the closest bout Font has been in that’s not a championship bout. Font will come into the fight having won his last three fights in a row, including nabbing the “Fight of the Night” honor for his victory against Ricky Simón in December 2019. His other two wins came against Sergio Pettis and Marlon Moraes.
Font’s fighting style, while seen as cautious and refrained at moments by some MMA experts, might be a big key to why he can come out on top in his fight against Garbrandt. Unlike what’s expected for Font to come out swinging from the get-go, this fight can easily shift towards his way if Font is able to use his strengths. Which ones? For one, his longer reach in comparison to Garbrandt, a staggering 6-inch difference between both. This can easily help Font create enough space in between to be able to pick at Garbrandt until he’s ready to go in for the KO.
Also, if Garbrandt´s camp has been doing their homework they probably know that unless you go in with some sort of special punch, kick, or combo, taking down Rob Font will not be an easy task. Font is known to be a fighter who can take a hit and still act as nothing happened. So again, unless Garbrandt comes out swinging like Superman, don’t expect Font to go down easily.
A Former Champion Wanting That Smoke Again, Coby Garbrandt
Former UFC bantamweight champion is all but ready to finally leave behind his lackluster run in the division as of late and build up some momentum with a much-needed win over Rob Font. It’s not a secret to anybody that Garbrandt will come into this bout looking at it as the perfect shot at redemption, especially after all the poor showings he’s had after holding the bantamweight title.
After defeating Dominick Cruz all the way back in 2016 for the division belt the Ohio native went into two title fights knowingly unprepared, leading him to lose his title in his first defense against TJ Dillashaw and his consequent title rematch. Another loss down the road against Brazilian fighter Pedro Munhoz in 2019 after struggling with a back injury for almost 2 years took him to take a step back but now the man is back and looking for another shot at glory.
Garbrandt might be coming into this fight lacking some of the tools needed to take Font down right away but that does not mean he will not show up ready to throw down. The Ohio fighter will need to be on his A-game, playing around Font’s reach and using his speed and take-down abilities to find some middle ground to work with. Both Font and Garbrandt are known for their boxing backgrounds but here is where Cody could eventually strike gold. By mixing up his boxing skills and some ground MMA tactics, he could find a way to bring down Font and go for the win.
There is nothing stronger than a man with his sights set on redemption and this might just be what tips the scale in Garbrandt’s favor. At the end of the day who doesn’t love a good underdog story and on paper, Cody Garbrandt is the certified underdog in this fight.
So Who’s Taking the Fight?
With MMA fights, coming up with predictions and picks can be as easy as it comes or as hard as shooting at blanks, especially taking into account the surprise factors that nobody usually expects. With that said though, this fight will come down to which fighter comes in better prepared.
Yes, Garbrandt is coming off a shaky period in his career, but he’s also on a winning streak of sorts. Coming into the fight after taking down Raphael Assuncao in his last fight, you can’t deny Cody’s desire to step back into the spotlights of the bantamweight division. He knows what it’s like to fight the crème de la crème of opponents in his division and will surely put up a great fight against Font.
Rob Font on the other hand will come into this fight as everyone’s favorite to take it and with ample reason. Font will go on carrying a three-fight win streak under his record, and while some people have come forward to claim that Font’s fights have not necessarily been the most challenging, that hasn’t stopped Font from putting on dominating performances. His last win against Marlon Moraes put him over in an impressive way and gave fans a taste of what the man could do if he fully unleashes his talents.
All signs point towards a Font victory at UFC Fight Night 188 and with ample reasons. What should come out of this though is the proper recognition of the winner as a top prospect in the division, especially towards awarding a title fight in the future.