Cody Garbrandt went from the top of the world to the basement in under three years. Garbrandt was 11-0 and the UFC bantamweight champion when the calendar flipped to 2017. By March 2019 he was an ex-champion with a 11-3 record. To make matters worse, Garbrandt lost each of those contests by knockout.
In June 2020, Garbrandt turned things around with a “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning knockout of Raphael Assuncao. On Saturday, Garbrandt fights for the first time since that win when he faces Rob Font in the main event of UFC Vegas 27.
Garbrandt wanted to return to the octagon sooner, but injuries and a severe case of COVID-19 prevented him from making that walk. Currently ranked No. 4 in the UFC’s 135-pound division, Garbrandt is ready to make a big comeback.
“I’m looking at being a two-time weight division champion, that’s my goal, Garbrandt said. “I know we have a little bit of a circus act upfront with Aljamain and Yan, they have to run that back. I feel like this fight right here is a title eliminator, so I finish Rob on Saturday, I have options.”
Font, who is the No. 3 fighter at bantamweight, is on a three-fight winning streak. His most recent setback was a unanimous decision loss to Assuncao in 2018. Font is coming off a December TKO win over Marlon Moraes.
Font sees the ex-champ as a worthy adversary.
“You are either knocking him out or he’s knocking you out. He’s a dangerous guy, he looked a lot more patient in the Assuncao fight and it was pretty gangster how he pulled that off,” Font said. “You have to worry about that with a guy like Cody. It’s an exciting challenge and a scary challenge, I plan on frustrating this guy and making him make a mistake and make him pay.”
Font and Garbrandt are noted strikers. The two have combined for 18 career knockout victories. Both Font and Garbrandt rank in the top-five in UFC bantamweight knockout victories. The difference maker in this fight could be output as Font lands nearly two significant strikes more per minute than Garbrandt.
Take a look at how Font and Garbrandt compare in key statistical categories ahead of their main event matchup.
Font vs. Garbrandt head-to-head stats
|Sig. Strikes Landed Per Min.||5.21||3.35|
|Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.83||3.33|
|Takedown Avg./15 min||1.2||0.84|
|Submission Average Per 15 min||0.8||0|