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After snapping a three-fight losing skid, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt was ready to cut weight and fight for the UFC flyweight championship.
But after a torn bicep and a rough case of COVID-19, Garbrandt’s flyweight plans were scrapped and he returns to the Octagon on Saturday night to face Rob Font in the bantamweight main event of UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas.
The clash between Garbrandt and Font has potentially significant implications for the 135-pound division. Garbrandt’s past success has placed him as a fighter always a small run of success away from another shot at a title, while Font’s current three-fight winning streak and 4-1 record over his five most recent fights has established him as a player in the division.
Garbrandt won the bantamweight title in December 2016, putting on a stellar performance against longtime top bantamweight Dominick Cruz. He would suffer a knockout loss to TJ Dillashaw in his first title defense in 2017.
A 2018 knockout loss in the rematch with Dillashaw followed, and in his only 2019 fight, Garbrandt again was knocked out, this time against Pedro Munhoz.
The heavy hitting Garbrandt finally got back on track when he knocked out Raphael Assuncao in June 2020, his 10th knockout in 12 career victories.
Font is a smooth, technical striker with natural power in his strikes. He is particularly proficient with his lead hand, showing both an educated jab, which allows him to dictate the distance and tempo on the feet, as well as a smart hook that catches his opponents moving forward.
His grappling is fundamentally strong, and he does well to scramble to his feet when opponents press him toward the cage and onto the ground.