Bantamweight champion Sterling (20-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) wasn’t medically cleared for his co-main event rematch against Yan (15-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at UFC 267 on Oct. 30 and as a result, the promotion opted to create an interim title fight.
Cory Sandhagen (14-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) wound up replacing Sterling, but the UFC granted rising contender Font (19-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) the opportunity first. However, Font said he recently tested positive for COVID-19 and has barely gotten the chance to resume to training.
“We got the call, but I just got off the whole COVID situation,” Font said in an interview with Middle Easy. “We weren’t training, so I couldn’t jump into that fight. I was pissed, but things happen for a reason.
“My understanding it was kind of just me and Sandhagen. (The UFC) pretty much said, ‘Hey, we want to see if you’re going to do it, but we’re also offering it to Sandhagen ,as well.’ So, it was unfortunate we had to turn it down, but it was pretty cool that we got the offer.”
Font is coming off a five-round battering of former champion Cody Garbrandt in his first UFC headliner in May. After passing up on the opportunity to face Yan due to the short-notice nature, Font will now face another former champion in Jose Aldo (30-7 MMA, 20-6 UFC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Dec. 4.
“I would have been doing it just to do it,” Font said on accepting the Yan fight. “It wouldn’t have been my best performance, but we get another tough fight, another legend, and I’m excited to get in there and put this guy away.
“I love (Aldo’s) style. I grew up watching him, I think I match up well with him. I think my length, my accuracy, my movement and my feints are going to be a lot for him to deal with. I feel like I’m going to overwhelm him, just the looks I give him, and then hopefully everything goes smooth, I capitalize and get him out of there as soon as possible.”
Although Yan lost his title to Sterling via disqualification in a fight he was firmly in control of, Font thinks Sandhagen has the style to beat him.
“I’m going with Sandhagen,” Font said. “I think he’s very smooth and very calculated on just picking his shots and not rushing it. I think he’s going to just kind of win a decision and just kind of be a smart, well-played out, long striking type of matchup.”
Twitter reacts to Rob Font’s dominant win over Cody Garbrandt at UFC Fight Night 188