UFC BETTING PREVIEW: UFC Fight Night: Font vs. Aldo headline
This week out at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, we have a bit of a sleeper card, with several potentially entertaining fights on the menu.
Rob Font has a chance to take the scalp of another big name in the shape of octagon legend Jose Aldo, as the 4th and 5th-ranked bantamweight fighters face off in our main event.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it and preview the main card ….
Rob Font has been on a tear. Back in May he made the most of an opportunity to fight in the main event against well-known former contender Cody Garbrandt, coming out with a unanimous decision victory.
That was Font’s fourth win in a row, having previously defeated Ricky Simon in a contest awarded Fight of the Night before going on to dispatch Marlon Moraes in a Performance of the Night outing.
That all combines to put the 34-year-old in prime position for a title shot should the UFC grant him one, and a win over highly-respected Brazilian legend Jose Aldo should make his case for a tilt at the belt extremely hard to deny.
Back in 2020, Aldo had that chance himself, fighting for the vacant Bantamweight title against current Interim Bantamweight champ Petr Yan.
That didn’t turn out too well for Aldo, as he suffered his third consecutive loss in what could have turned out to be a huge tipping point in his octagon career.
Instead, the former long-time Featherweight champion regrouped and came back with a purpose, winning his next two fights, thrusting himself into the title picture at 135lbs, most notably last time out against Pedro Munoz.
Font’s momentum may be hard to stop, and Aldo goes into this one as the underdog, but a seemingly rejuvenated veteran with his kind of ring-savvy should never be written off.
Since debuting in 2013, Brad Riddell has racked up an almost-perfect record, with the New Zealander last losing in 2018. He’s won seven fights since then, his last four coming in the UFC, which has shot him up to number 12 in the rankings.
One could argue that a lack of activity has possibly held the 30-year-old back, but if he continues to fight at more frequent intervals, and wins, it surely won’t be long until he enters the top 10 in what is known as one of, if not the, most stacked division in the UFC.
Out to stop him achieving that is a man with a 29-4 Muay Thai record on his resume. He’s amassed 10 wins in MMA since making the full-time transition, with his only loss coming in his UFC debut back in 2019.
Since then Rafael Fiziev has won four on the bounce and is a fighter that can always capitalise on one wrong move from his opponent, such is his striking experience.
The Kazakhstani fighter is still only 28, and it could be said he’s yet to reach his true prime, so it’s going to be fascinating to see which fighter can get the win here in an even match-up, and propel themselves towards the top of the division.
This Lightweight match-up sees two mixed martial arts veterans go head to head.
When you see Clay Guida’s name on a UFC card, you know you’re guaranteed some sort of action. But at 39, the Illinois native is definitely at the back end of his UFC tenure.
A loss here, which would make it four defeats in his last five, could spell the end of one of MMA’s most entertaining careers.
His opponent Leonardo Santos is even older at 41, but would appear to have a little more left in the tank. The Brazilian lost to Grant Dawson last time out in March of this year, but previous to that he was on a six-fight win streak.
It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this veteran match up, but all signs point to a Santos victory.
Since coming to the UFC Jimmy Crute has arguably failed to blaze the trail he threatened to after being a champion back in his native Australia in the HEX Fight Series.
He found his way into the UFC via The Contender Series in 2018, since which he’s put up four wins and two losses and is still looking to truly find his way in the organisation.
A win over Jamahal Hill would certainly help, an American fighter who is returning to the octagon after appearing to suffer a terrible arm injury back in June in a defeat, which was the first of his career, to Scotsman Paul Craig.
Fortunately it wasn’t as bad as was first feared, and just six months later he returns to action. It remains to be seen whether he’s back to the form that saw him defeat Ovince Saint Preux back in 2020, but regardless, his toughness isn’t in question.
Brendan Allen comes into this one with many in the know backing him as a potential future player in the middleweight division.
The 25-year-old has already racked up 21 professional fights, losing just four. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Allen is a skilled technician with the physical advantage of being ‘long’, standing at 6’2”, so he’s tall for a middleweight.
A win over relative UFC newbee Chris Curtis would only add to the feeling that Allen is destined for bigger things. Curtis may be new in the UFC, having made his debut less than a month ago on the undercard of Usman vs. Covington II, but he is on a six-fight win streak and is seemingly improving with age.
At 34 he is hardly a spring chicken, but these days in MMA 30 seems to be the new 20, with many fighters not reaching their prime until a much later age.
With that said, Allen is the heavy favourite here, and should pick up the victory.
Bryan Barberena is 1-3 in his last four fights, while this will be Darian Weeks’ UFC debut.
This fight may be the intersection of a career on a downward slope and one on an upward trajectory, but the odds don’t necessarily reflect that, as Barberena is slight favourite for this one.
With Weeks being something of an unknown quantity it remains to be seen which will come out on top between youth and athleticism, and experience and know-how.