Aljamain Sterling pulled out of his first title defense and rematch against Petr Yan due to issues with his neck, and the UFC decided to book an interim championship involving Cory Sandhagen. Rob Font was apparently another name that was in consideration, which does make sense from a rankings perspective.
Yan is ranked number one at bantamweight. Number two is T.J. Dillashaw, who is still injured, and the third ranked Cory Sandhagen is technically coming off a (somewhat disputed) decision loss to Dillashaw. Font is currently ranked at number four, but he revealed that he had to turn the title opportunity down.
“Obviously we got the call, but I just got off of the whole COVID-19 situation,” Font told Middle Easy. “We weren’t training so I couldn’t jump into that fight. I was pissed but things happen for a reason.
“By my understanding, it was kind of me and Sandhagen,” Font said. “That was pretty cool. They pretty much said, ‘Hey, we want to see if you want to do it, but we are also offering it to Sandhagen as well.’ So it was unfortunate that we had to turn it down, but it was pretty cool that we got the offer. It kind of sucked because I wasn’t sure if it was going to be for the title or the interim. But once I found out it’s the interim title, it’s not the worst.”
Sandhagen vs Yan will fight for the interim bantamweight belt at UFC 267 on October 30. Font, on the other hand, was booked for the December 4 Fight Night card against Jose Aldo in a headlining bout that could also have title implications.