Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight strikers Jose Aldo and Rob Font will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Dec. 4, 2021) at UFC Vegas 44 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Aldo just isn’t done yet. A competitive, but ultimately brutal loss to (interim) champion Petr Yan, probably should have ended his already-unlikely Bantamweight title dreams, but the legend responded by ... getting even better? Aldo’s last win vs. Pedro Munhoz was absolutely top-tier work, and really inspired hopes in one last title run. Font’s own rise defied the odds too. In an absurdly talented division, Font is making it happen with sheer grit, determination, and a heavy right hand. That’s not an attempt to undermine his technical skill, but Font’s recent ability to dominate elite competition with the fundamentals has been rather surprising.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Chad Mendes (UFC 179, UFC 142), Frankie Edgar (UFC 200, UFC 156), Pedro Munhoz (UFC 265), Renato Moicano (UFC 232), Marlon Vera (UFC Vegas 17)
Key Losses: Petr Yan (UFC 251), Max Holloway (UFC 218, UFC 212), Conor McGregor (UFC 194), Alexander Volkanovski (UFC 237), Marlon Moraes (UFC 245)
Keys to Victory: Aldo is one of the best strikers in the history of the sport, and he’s damn near impossible to take down even 17 years into his professional career. Though Aldo first rose to prominence on the strength of his kicks and knees, boxing has been the major focus in recent performances.
One way or another, Aldo has scored 17 knockout wins.
For Aldo, this fight is about the diversity of his skill set. Font has to fight his way into the pocket and outland Aldo from there in order to win. That’s pretty much his sole path to victory: land enough right hands to either stop Aldo or win the decision.
Aldo has far more options. He can certainly box in the pocket with Font and find success there. He can maintain a step of additional distance and look to counter or chop the leg. If Font is chasing particularly hard, Aldo can change levels and look to steal some control time with a takedown.
As such, Aldo’s best chance to frustrate Font is to keep him guessing and take whatever openings are available. Exchange when it makes sense, chop the leg and destabilize the boxer on his jabs, and wrestle if a break is needed or Font needs to be calmed back down — Aldo has the skill to do it all.
Key Wins: Cody Garbrandt (UFC Vegas 27), Marlon Moraes (UFC Vegas 17), Ricky Simon (UFC on ESPN 7), Sergio Pettis (UFC on FOX 31), Thomas Almeida (UFC 220), Douglas Silva de Andrade (UFC 213)
Key Losses: Raphael Assuncao (UFC 226), John Lineker (UFC 198), Pedro Munhoz (UFC Fight Night 119)
Keys to Victory: Font is about as game as they come. The Massachusetts native manages distance really well with his long jab, sticking his opponent with hard pokes until he’s able to line up his right hand. As Font has strung wins together in the last couple years, his confidence has really grown as well.
Font’s strategy in this fight is pretty clear. He’s not going to win a technical battle at a relaxed pace vs. Jose Aldo — really, is any Bantamweight? No, Font has to get in Aldo’s face and force him to work constantly with the end goal of exhausting the Brazilian.
That’s not to say Font can go out there and brawl sloppily. Instead, Font has to do everything possible to keep his jab on Aldo and force his opponent to stay reactive. Aldo will surely fire back some counter combinations or low kicks to attempt to dissuade Font’s jabs, but Font has to keep his activity up regardless.
If he can endure the early damage without allowing his pace to falter, Font stands a real chance at taking over late.
The winner of this match up probably fights TJ Dillashaw in a title eliminator next.
The Bantamweight title is currently held up by the Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling weirdness, but that fight is likely to happen sometime in the next six months. The rest of the division seemingly lines up to have Dillashaw face tonight’s victor for a title shot. Either way, that’s a tremendous match up that produces a worthy contender!
Neither man is a young Bantamweight contender. Accordingly, the stakes are high, as any hit to their current momentum will cost precious time. Given just how many talented Bantamweights are on the rise, even the slightest misstep here could really end the would-be title run of either athlete.
At UFC Vegas 44, Jose Aldo and Rob Font will duel in the main event. Which man earns the victory?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 44 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET.
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