There's nothing like the smell of new fighters in the morning... Okay, that's simply not true. But, nonetheless, new fighters are what you're getting. If you go out of your way to smell them, well, that's your business. The Providence Journal reported on Saturday, that the UFC has signed bantamweight Rob Font to a contract. He's already been added to the UFC.com roster, so it's pretty safe to say that his signing has been confirmed. Font is expected to make his debut at UFC 175, where it's being reported that he'll take on Douglas Silva de Andrade.
Who is Rob Font?
The current CES featherweight champion, 26-year old Font will drop down to 135 lbs for the first time in his pro career to make his debut in the octagon. He brings with him a 10-1 pro record, fighting out of Mark Dellagrotte's Team Sityodtong former producers of Marcus Davis and Patrick Cote. It's a surprisingly decent, if not quite outstanding regional record, highlighted by his win over Bellator fighter Saul Almeida and a loss, in his second career fight, to Dez Green. Outside of those two, he's fought a lot of decent regional vets and little in the way of cans or too-green competition. It lends a bit of understanding to a decent but not outstanding finishing rate with six stoppages in ten wins, three by submission, three by knockout.
What you should expect:
Font shows good footwork and good kickboxing basics on the outside. He moves well from side to side, throws straight punches and mixes in kicks well. He digs to the body with strikes well, and generally does a surprisingly decent job mixing up his striking entries. He often throws a snapping front kick to keep range, and likes to flurry in with strikes and shoot underneath them, but his wrestling game seems a bit lacking. If he can't get an opponent down with the initial drive he tends to resort to cage control rather than chaining attempts. His grappling game appears to be more of an extension of his striking. If he can hurt you standing he'll jump on a submission opportunity, rather than it being something he actively looks for on its own. Even when he does use his takedown game offensively it often appears to be just a way to throw off his opponents rhythm, and he'll stand out to get the fight back tot he feet.
Otherwise, he's surprisingly defensively solid, and rarely backs out of exchanges in a straight line, instead slipping out on angles and keeping his hands in decent defensive position, while also moving his head well. He's shown some flashes of some decent defensive wrestling and ability to scramble to his feet from the bottom as well, which should serve him well at 135.
Update: As an opponent has been announced immediately after publishing, I'll add a what this means for his debut section:
What this means for his debut:
Douglas Silva de Andrade (or D'Silva as he is known for short) should provide a very stiff test for Font's debut. D'Silva is a fireplug of muscle and strikes with a varied attack out of both stances. Unfortunately for D'Silva, his lack of a great camp or strong tutoring means that against quality opposition like Font, the numerous cracks in his technique begin to show. He has a lot of defensive holes and trouble finding opponents with his strikes consistently. He could possibly overwhelm Font in the clinch or catch him with a huge bomb, but I think Font's footwork and defensive movement and polished skills should be enough to keep him ahead for three rounds.
To get us better acquainted, here's his most recent bout against Tristan Johnson at CES 23: