Rob Font’s 2020 didn’t go as planned, but a win at UFC Fight Night 183 could make that irrelevant.
After competing only once in 2019 despite being healthy all year, Font (17-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) tore his ACL in a win against Ricky Simon last December. The injury knocked him out of action until he was rebooked for Saturday’s fight against Marlon Moraes.
“I made rehab my new sport, my new martial art,” Font told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during Thursday’s media day. “I just put my head down and got to work. The whole pandemic and coronavirus situation kind of slowed everything down, so it wasn’t the worst.”
Fighting consistently has been Font’s goal, though bad luck and lack of opponents have prevented him from doing so. In order to combat infrequent activity, Font had to eliminate the negativity from his mindset – even during tough times.
“I was shadowboxing on one leg,” Font said. “I was figuring out ways to kick, holding the couch, just figuring out different ways to stay active. Once I was able to ride the bike and shadowbox, it wasn’t the worst. I watched a lot of film and watched a lot of fights.”
Though he has not yet competed in 2020, Font remained an active member of UFC training camps. As his close friend and teammate Calvin Kattar ascended up the 145-pound ladder, Font was there every step of the way to offer support. In return, Font was inspired by Kattar’s success.
“Watching Calvin rise the way he did, it was motivating,” Font said. “It urged me to have that hunger to get back to it.”
Font competes against Moraes (23-7-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC), a former UFC bantamweight title challenger, on Saturday – a fight that could have major implications should he win. In January, Kattar (22-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) fights former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway. Font deemed the month stretch vitally important to the rise of the New England Cartel.
“This is big,” Font said. “We’ve got to go out there and obviously win these fights. It will take us one step closer to bringing the belts (to) New England, to Boston, and obviously, holding it down for the cartel.
UFC Fight Night 183 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.