Over the course of five rounds, Font showcased an incredible striking acumen as he punished Garbrandt with a nasty lead jab and then looked for the knockout shot behind it. While Garbrandt survived all 25 minutes, Font had clearly done more than enough to win a unanimous decision while also earning his fourth victory in a row overall.
The judges scored the fight 50-45, 50-45 and 48-47 as Font gets a huge victory and finds success in his first UFC main event.
“I feel great,” Font said after the win. “Cardio felt great. I tried to stay real disciplined. I have the best jab in the UFC, that’s for sure. I must have thrown a million jabs for this fight. I can’t go hook for hook with him. I was preaching it the whole time. I really do believe it’s the best jab in the UFC. We got the ‘W.’”
Despite giving up a reach advantage, it was Garbrandt who started the fight by establishing his own jab but he was wary of engaging in exchanges with a powerful counter puncher in Font. The New England native proved that after he cracked Garbrandt with a hard shot midway through the opening round that rattled the Ohio native momentarily.
Font landed flush with two more right hands that twisted Garbrandt’s head around but he was cognizant enough to grab onto the takedown in order to slow down his opponent’s offense.
Knowing he had the better wrestling, Garbrandt began depending on his ability to put Font on the ground and then opening up with his punches in order to do damage to Font. To his credit, Font stayed patient before using a kimura attempt to reverse positions and get back to his feet.
From there, Font started pumping out a fast jab with his left hand and then following behind it with a powerful right. With Garbrandt backing up against the cage, Font was able to measure up his combinations but still showing caution not to get too wild with his punches.
With each passing minute it appeared Garbrandt’s conditioning was starting to fade while circling around the cage to stay away from Font’s striking but he was still eating a number of jabs from the outside. Font was constantly stalking Garbrandt, unleashing his strikes in succession with almost every combination ending with that same stinging right hand.
As the fight faded into the final two rounds, Garbrandt was showing a little more confident in his strikes but Font’s jab was still eating him alive as blood began pouring out of his nose. Font was landing the more effective punches but Garbrandt refused to go away.
Of course, Font was still dishing out plenty of punishment including a pair of staggering uppercuts that had the former champion in trouble but he still managed to make it to the final horn.
While Font has definitely stumbled along the way, he’s really transformed himself into a top ranked bantamweight with his most recent performances. Considering the way he dispatched Marlon Moraes in his previous fight and then dominated Garbrandt for the better part of five rounds, Font will now find himself on the doorstep of title contention with only a couple of possible options available to him.
“I’ll be patient,” Font said. “We’ve got to see how the championship fight plays out and then obviously Cory [Sandhagen] and T.J [Dillashaw] is fighting. I want to get in between those two guys right there.
“Obviously the winner of the T.J. fight or obviously if I could get to the belt, I would love to get straight to the belt.”