UFC Vegas 44 went down last Sat. night (Dec. 4, 2021) inside the APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds after an action-packed night that featured several great performances (and finishes).
Among the fighters sent home feeling the post-fight blues was Jim Crute, suffering a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Jamahal Hill — who backed up his claim of having some of the best boxing in MMA by turning off Crute’s lights (see it here).
And Brad Riddell, who was knocked out by his former training partner Rafael Fiziev with a spectacular spinning wheel kick (relive it here). And how can you forget Leonardo Santos, who was on the brink of victory before he ended up being submitted for the first time in his career by Clay Guida (video replay). But which fighter is suffering from one of the worst post-fight hangovers, now a few days removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining bout against Jose Aldo, Font was scorching hot with a four-fight win streak, which helped him lock down the No. 4 spot in the official rankings. In fact, he was likely one more win away from earning his first-ever shot at a UFC title. Font had already passed several big tests on his way to the Top 5, but he needed to take out a living legend in Aldo in order to put him over the top.
Despite putting forth a valiant effort, the New England Cartel-trained fighter came up short in his bid to win five straight. Font did have several shining moments, tagging Aldo on multiple occasions, nearly closing his right eye completely. But the former 145-pound champion dug deep to unleash his own legendary striking to rock and drop Font on multiple occasions.
In the end, Aldo ran away with a clear unanimous decision win — his third in a row — snapping Font’s hot streak in the process.
For Font, the loss was a direct hit to his championship aspirations, but it isn’t the end of the road for him — far from it. The talented striker will undoubtedly learn from this unfortunate setback, just his second loss in three years. He has shown he can bounce back and rack wins up in a hurry, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll do it again.
As far as who Font will face next, a fight against Cory Sandhagen seems inevitable
“The Sandman” is coming off a tough loss to former division champion Petr Yan at UFC 267 (see it here), a bout contested for the interim 135-pound title. With two straight losses on his record, Sandhagen is in dire need of a big win to get him back on track. For Font, handing Sandhagen his third straight loss would achieve his short-term goal of staying around the Top 5 in order to keep a championship fight at reach.
For complete UFC Vegas 44 results and coverage click here.