UFC Fight Night 262: Rob Font vs. Cody Garbrandt
Saturday, May 22 – UFC Apex, Las Vegas
The main event of this card looks like it could be an interesting one as former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt aims to work his way back into the No.1 contender position for the belt currently held by Alijamain Sterling. Standing in the way of the No. 4 ranked contender is in the division is Rob Font, the No. 3 ranked bantamweight in UFC. These are two of the heavier strikers in the division, guys that like to fight with an overwhelming tempo that could lead to a fun bout – albeit one that could end swiftly given their work rates and ability to attack.
Garbrandt is an odd case. He seemed like a deserving champion, but since then he fell apart and had lost three in a row despite having a hand speed that is the envy of most others in the sport. He finally found his way back into the win column last time out with a second-round KO of Raphael Assuncao that was desperately needed. If Garbrandt is to win here then he will need to protect a chin that has been exposed of late and keep a lid on the emotions that sometimes lead to him trying to fight too fast and too hard and that open him up to counter-attacking punch combos.
Font recovered from a 1-1 start to his UFC career to go on a tear to get to 12-1. Since then his form has been mixed, but three wins on the bounce – including a Performance on the Night victory last time out against Marlon Morales – have Font vert much in the title chase. Assuncao actually owns one of the four UFC defeats on Font’s card, but the Massachusetts-born star has improved in every bout since that time and at 33-years-old seems to have found his best form at the back end of his career.
It is worth noting that though the two fighters are the same height, Font actually owns a six-inch reach advantage that could be massive here as he is a high-volume puncher and will look to keep Garbrandt outside of his effective range. This will frustrate the former champ and leave him vulnerable – especially if he tries to brawl and not use any of his impressive wrestling arsenal to counter. I like Font to frustrate Garbrandt into a mistake and take the fight at 0.80 with BetXChange.
The co-main is a Women’s Strawweight bout between the No. 3 contender Yan Xiaonan and No. 4 Carla Esparza. Esparza held the title for less than 100 days at one point in her career, and both women know a win here is vital for their championship goals. Xiaonan is a pesky fighter who doesn’t stop moving and can land strikes from any angle with her plus level cardio endurance. Esparza has power inside – and a solid takedown game – but Xiaonan will play the long game, dancing around and landing more than enough strikes to outlast her opponent. Take her at 0.74 with BetXChange.