Not too long ago, Bantamweight standout Thomas Almeida was knocking on the door of a potential 135-pound title shot, but then Cody Garbrandt stopped him dead in his tracks with a first round knockout. In fact, the talented Brazilian had lost two of his last three bouts heading into his showdown with Rob Font tonight (Sat., Jan. 20, 2018) at UFC 220, which took place inside TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts.
Make that three of the last four for Almeida, who now has to try and rebound from back-to-back losses for the first time in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career after Font finished him with strikes in the second round.
Font came out of his corner looking to push the pace, stalking Almeida and eventually mushing him up against the fence where he angled for a takedown. Almeida, though, was able to spin out and tried to find his striking range. Font’s jab was very effective early, landing consistently and ruddying the Brazilian’s face. Almeida was more economical with his shots, looking to put together combinations, particularly an uppercut that he appeared to be honing in as the round progressed. It was Font early, Almeida late in the opening frame.
Almeida opened up the second stanza seemingly more fluid and comfortable. Font, though, clipped him with a hard overhand right counter that dropped him to the canvas. Font followed him to the mat, briefly, then let him up, hoping to finish what he started. Font nailed him with hard uppercuts and body shots along the fence then took down Almeida with a body lock. He sprung right back to his feet, though, and headed back to the center of the Octagon still woozy. Font could tell he was still wonky and lined him up with a head kick that connected. Almeida dipped down and Font drilled him with a hard uppercut, dropping him to the canvas once again. Font dropped three unnecessary hammer fists as Almeida tried to defend himself, but it was clear he was toast. The referee mercifully pulled him off midway through the round, giving Font perhaps the biggest win of his UFC career.
Well deserved — that was an impressive performance ... and fun to watch!
For complete UFC 220: “Miocic vs. Ngannou” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.