UFC bantamweight Rob Font believes he made ‘the precise name’ in turning down quick discover interim title shot

UFC Combat Night time headliner Rob Font has no regrets turning down an interim UFC bantamweight title shot in opposition to Petr Yan.

Font was the primary of two selections chosen to switch UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling in what can be an interim title struggle in opposition to former champion and high contender Yan. The No. 4 ranked contender opted out of the UFC 267 co-main occasion slot on Oct. 30, which was finally awarded to fellow contender Cody Sandhagen. Font had not too long ago been cleared of accountability for adversarial drug take a look at findings by USADA. He contracted COVID-19 shortly after.

“I believe it was the precise name. It sucked. I used to be nonetheless coping with the entire USADA scenario. I wasn’t even positive if I used to be combating for the following yr,” Font tells CBS Sports activities forward of his headlining conflict with Jose Aldo at UFC Combat Night time in Las Vegas. “We went to Texas to loosen up and hang around. We lastly had our listening to and we handed it. We received cleared of every little thing. Sadly, clearly, going to Texas we f—ed round and received COVID. I am hurting, my throats killing me. My woman is throwing up in all places. We lastly recover from that, we have been in the home for 2 weeks. My supervisor calls me and says, ‘Hey, do you wish to go to Dubai?’

“I used to be hurting, I hadn’t been coaching. We went outdoors and jogged just a little and sprinted to see how far off I was. It did not really feel too dangerous however, man, it felt rushed. It is a lengthy flight, there’s a lot to it. The chance was there however I simply did not know. Collectively, all of us felt it might have been rushed.”

The sophisticated state of the UFC bantamweight division places Font (19-4) in limbo even when he is ready to rating a formidable victory over Aldo (30-7). Exploring the parting paths at 135, Font envisions a No. 1 contender’s matchup in opposition to former champion T.J. Dillashaw within the close to future.

Take a look at the total interview with Rob Font beneath.

“If he is not assured that subsequent title shot, as he mentioned, I believe it is that struggle,” Font mentioned. “The champ [Sterling] nonetheless has to return again and struggle Petr. If he is nonetheless sidelined, I’d have the ability to leap in there and get the Petr struggle. If Aljamain is wholesome and energetic, I believe they struggle and it leaves me and T.J. on the market.

“I am in a bizarre spot the place even an enormous end or win, I am nonetheless caught ready.”

Font, 34, is only one yr youthful than Aldo; nevertheless, the Brazilian legend carries with him a seven-year expertise edge over the Boston native.

“He is Aldo. He is seen all of it and completed all of it. The expertise stage is there,” Font mentioned. “Clearly, I can not match up with him in relation to expertise. I used to be watching him once I first began this. I discovered so much from him but in addition discovered from him a whole lot of what to not do. I will capitalize on the errors he is made earlier than and make him make these errors once more.”

Font (19-4) was marked as one to observe upon his arrival within the UFC, knocking out veteran George Roop within the first spherical in 2014. Alternating between wins and losses from 2017 to 2018 slowed his momentum; nevertheless, he roared to life with consecutive wins over now Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis, Ricky Simon, Marlon Moraes and former UFC bantamweight king Cody Garbrandt.

“I ended attempting to be good,” Font mentioned. “I ended ready for the proper alternative to make issues occur. Particularly after that [Raphael] Assuncao struggle, I used to be by no means going to exit like that once more. Going and attacking these fights and giving myself permission to mess up. Typically I used to be attempting to be too good or I would not throw an excessive amount of if it wasn’t an ideal shot or if it wasn’t the technical look. I would not throw it.

“Now I am simply throwing no matter and having enjoyable with it. Having a recreation plan but when I want to modify it up, switching it up on the fly. Studying and reacting. When you discover in most of my fights, I attempt to stress these guys backwards. I am attempting to get them to throw off their again foot and counter them. It was simply giving myself permission to fail. Not attempting to not fail or to look dangerous. When you look dangerous, so what? Stand up and have enjoyable.”

Font additionally supplied his evaluation of fellow ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen who, regardless of a excessive ceiling for potential, has fallen quick to Yan, Dillashaw and Sterling within the final yr.

“I simply suppose he is nonetheless discovering himself,” Font mentioned. “He is taken all robust fights. Three losses will not be that huge of a deal in MMA once you break all of it down. It is not like boxing the place you get three losses and also you’re mainly completed. Particularly on the high of the division. One huge win and he is again there and [everyone] forgets he even misplaced these fights. Now we’re speaking about acting on the night time of the struggle. The Aljamain struggle was tremendous fast and received completed with it. The T.J. struggle was shut, however I really feel he was backing up an excessive amount of. Within the Petr Yan struggle, he was trying good for the primary two [rounds] after which slowed down.

“For him, it is all about executing. He has the ability set, he has the power to do it. I imagine he is among the finest strikers within the division. He places it collectively nicely. I believe generally he is backing up just a little bit an excessive amount of and that hurts him. He is harmful, he is slick. I like his model. I study so much from his model. I watch his model. I mimic a whole lot of stuff that he does. He beat two guys that I misplaced to, so he is positively harmful. It simply comes all the way down to that night time. Relating to this recreation, you could be nice in any respect elements however it comes all the way down to execution.”

Font totally expects and endorses a future struggle in opposition to Sandhagen.

“It is positively going to occur for positive,” he mentioned. “I see him being round for some time. It should be an incredible struggle as a result of he has a enjoyable model he brings.”

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