Rob Font expects a UFC Vegas 44 win over Jose Aldo to lead to title eliminator clash against TJ Dillashaw

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rob font, ufc vegas 44
Dec 15, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Rob Font (red gloves) before his fight against Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Although Rob Font’s preferred option is to land in a UFC bantamweight title shot sooner than later, he is aware of the fact that a win over Jose Aldo on Saturday night could set up a matchup with former division king TJ Dillashaw next.

The UFC 135-pound title picture is a bit messy at the moment. Current champion Aljamain Sterling (20-3) will need a full year to recover from neck surgery following his disqualification title win in March. Meaning interim titlist Petr Yan (16-2) is in a holding pattern as he waits to book a unification bout after earning the temporary belt with a unanimous decision win over Cory Sandhagen (14-4) last month.

Then there is Dillashaw (17-4) a two-time champion ranked behind Yan but still recovering from a torn knee ligament incurred during his win over Sandhagen over the summer. Font (19-4) would love to miraculously find himself in a championship bout next if he could beat featherweight great Aldo (30-7) this weekend. However, he knows that is unlikely with the current contender log jam. Meaning another major non-title showdown could be in his immediate future.

Rob Font sees a TJ Dillashaw clash in his future with a win at UFC Vegas 44

Although not the best-case scenario, if he can be successful in his next two fights, he knows a championship opportunity will come soon after.

“That’d be cool,” Font said on The MMA Hour about a Dillashaw matchup being next if he is victorious at UFC Vegas 44. “I hope that’s the plan. Best-case scenario, they do strip Aljamain and make me and Petr fight for the belt. Second-case scenario would obviously be me fighting TJ. Beating a guy like Aldo, then beating a guy like TJ, you can’t deny me the [title shot]. But that’s a rougher route. That’s two legends back-to-back. Obviously, my job is to get there and get through Aldo first, but there are some options there.”

Facing Jose Aldo on Saturday is a nostalgia moment for WEC fan Font

Saturday’s fight has a bit of a nostalgia feel for the New England Cartel talent. For many fans and fighters, the UFC was their first introduction to MMA. However, that wasn’t the case for the 34-year-old. His education and interest in the sport started with watching World Extreme Cagefighting. A promotion that served as the home for elite fighters at smaller weights for many years, until it was eventually absorbed by the UFC.

In a few days inside the UFC APEX, Font will not only get to face a UFC great but a legend of the WEC, and the last man to hold the organization’s featherweight title.

“I didn’t even start watching MMA through the UFC. It was WEC,” he said. “I started watching WEC and then got into UFC. [Urijah] Faber, [Dominick] Cruz, [Renan] Barao, Rani Yahya, all those guys first got me introduced into what MMA was. And then of course we all looked up to Aldo, and [Anthony] Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and all those guys.”

UFC Vegas 44 takes place on Dec. 4 in Las Vegas, Nev. The event will be simulcast on ESPN and ESPN+ and begins at 7 pm ET.

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