In his first UFC main event, Rob Font came up big, as he defeated former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt via five-round unanimous decision, guaranteeing that the New Englander will be a prominent name in the 135-pound title conversation.
Scores were 48-47, 50-45 and 50-45 for the No.3-ranked Font, now 19-4. The No.4-ranked Garbrandt falls to 12-4.
Garbrandt focused on his kicking game in the early going, but Font landed the first big shot, as a 1-2 stung the former champ briefly. Garbrandt stayed cool under pressure and scored a takedown with under two minutes to go, and while Font landed a couple hard right hands once the two rose, another takedown from “No Love” scored points in the closing stages of the round.
Opening up the second with a takedown, Garbrandt knew he had an advantage on the mat and he was going to work it. Font looked for a kimura from his back, and while he didn’t get it, he was able to use it to get back to his feet, where he looked to implement his jab. In the second half of the round, Font got into a striking rhythm as Garbrandt went on the defensive.
The exchanges heated up early in round three, with each fighter landing some shots before Font pinned Garbrandt to the fence for a spell. The two separated with a little over two minutes to go, and again it was Font leading the dance. Garbrandt shot for a takedown but Font defended well before getting back to his striking against his bloodied foe.
Font had a dominant effort in the first fourth round of his career, as he kept backing Garbrandt up with little offense coming back at him. Garbrandt did begin the fifth with a sense of urgency and he clipped Font with some solid shots, showing that he was still dangerous and capable of turning the fight around. Font took the blows well, though, and he returned the favor with his own sharp punches. With two minutes left, a right hand from Garbrandt landed flush, but Font shook it off and went back to work with his own right.
Official result – Rob Font def. Cody Garbrandt via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 48-47)