No. 4 ranked bantamweight contender Cody Garbrandt is slated to make his return to the octagon after a tumultuous 2020 against no. 3 ranked contender Rob Font in the main event of UFC Vegas 27.
Garbrandt got back in the win column in 2020 with a knockout of the year candidate against Raphael Assuncao.
He was then scheduled to challenge Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title.
However, Garbrandt was forced to pull out of his title shot against Figueiredo after he contracted COVID-19 and developed several significant side effects including a case of vertigo, pneumonia and blood clots.
Now that his health and well being are no longer risks, Garbrandt is solely focused on his opponent in Rob Font.
Font’s most recent victory was an astounding TKOo ver top contender and former bantamweight title challenger Marlon Moraes at UFC Vegas 17 in December 2020.
Despite Font’s current standing as a top three contender in the division, Garbrandt believes there are tests that he has passed, and Font has not.
Cody Garbrandt discusses overcoming COVID-19: ‘It was intense’
“I’m not taking anything away from Rob Font, but he has a lot of boxes that need to be checked,” Garbrandt said to ESPN. “He’s never been in a main event. He’s never been in a very high, prolific fight. Never been in a five round fight. Those are all things that I’ve been in and passed.
“So there’s a lot of boxes that need to be checked on his part. I think he’s skilled, I don’t think you get to being third ranked in the division if you’re not. But I just feel like I’m the overall better fighter in all areas. Wherever it needs to go, however I need to get this victory on Saturday. I just feel like I’m more than prepared.”
Many fans and pundits have credited Font’s camp, New England Cartel, with producing fighters with superb boxing out of their gym. Most notably no. 5 ranked featherweight contender Calvin Kattar, and of course Font.
Many would suggest the strongest factor behind Font’s boxing ability is his jab, but Garbrandt is not all that concerned about his opponent’s biggest strength in the striking department.
“That’s fine if he wants to say that his tool is gonna be a jab, because I got answers for that. And I’ll shut that s—t down in different ways than he’ll ever imagine,” Garbrandt said. “I’m gonna be three or four steps ahead of that guy inside that octagon.”
Regardless of outcome, the main event of UFC Vegas 27 between Garbrandt and Font should provide fireworks in a fan friendly matchup that has implications on the bantamweight title picture.