UFC on ESPN 31: Aldo vs Font - Predictions - 12/04/21

Main Card

Rob Font vs. José Aldo

Great main event and this one is tough to call. I’ve gone back and forth on this a couple times but there’s a couple factors that have tilted the scale for me in one fighter’s favor. First off, both fighters are excellent boxers. In a straight striking battle I think both guys would have success. Font has an excellent jab and very punishing uppercut waiting for overzealous wrestlers, while Aldo’s leg kicks, body shots and ability to string together combinations are legendary. Font has the slightest edge in height and reach, both at 1 inch but size will ultimately be pretty even (Aldo came in at 136 lbs to Font’s 134 but both guys looked good on the scale).

In the grappling realm, if Aldo initiates some takedowns which we’ve seen him do lately then he will most likely get them. Font’s takedown defense isn’t the best but what he lacks in sprawl he makes up for in scrambling back to his feet. He rarely gets held down for long and the exchanges don’t seem to affect his cardio. On that note, this is one of the big factors that has me leaning Font’s way - cardio. Font has looked fantastic in 4th or 5th rounds where we’ve seen Aldo badly fade down the stretch at various points in his career. However, he also used to show up at 145 looking like a ghost and many thought he’d never be able to make 135. Since the bantamweight drop he’s looked and performed incredibly so it is possible he may stay competitive later into the fight. The Petr Yan beatdown late in their fight might dispute that claim but even so it didn’t appear to be cardio-related at least.

If Aldo mixes in a good amount of grappling consistently he definitely could steal rounds. The issue with that is again, it will tax him cardiovascularly and Font experienced the same thing with Garbrandt in the last fight. Font was able to make adjustments and run away with things as the fight progressed and never really slowed down. The last factor that has me leaning Font’s way is his durability. He’s never been knocked out or even really hurt by strikes.

I know those last points make it sound like Font is a shoe-in but believe me, Aldo by decision still has decent probability as he’s looked great lately and you can never count out Scarface. Ultimately, I’m going to side with Font but not feeling confident about it.

Prediction: Rob Font

Quick picks in bold below

Brad Riddell vs. Rafael Fiziev

Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos

Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill

Brendan Allen vs. Chris Curtis

Bryan Barberena vs. Darian Weeks

Preliminary card

Maki Pitolo vs. Duško Todorović

Manel Kape vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov

Jake Matthews vs. Jeremiah Wells

Cheyanne Buys vs. Mallory Martin

Alonzo Menifield vs. William Knight

Claudio Puelles vs. Chris Gruetzemacher

Alex Morono vs. Mickey Gall

Louis Smolka vs. Vince Morales

Author Profile
Donnie Vee

Ever since renting my first UFC VHS at my local video store, I’ve been in love with the sport of MMA. I’ve watched every single fight that has ever taken place under the UFC banner over the past 25 years. Once I started doing incredibly well in fantasy leagues, I realized I could utilize my skills in fight analytics to make a profit on betting. My obsession with researching every aspect of a fight gave me a real edge in finding value. Since then, it's been one profitable year after the next. Watching your favorite sport is good, but getting paid while watching your favorite sport is better.