Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:45 PM EST.
UFC Vegas 27 - UFC APEX - Las Vegas, NV Rob Font (Inside the Distance) +140 over Cody Garbrandt
9:46 EST. We faded Cody Garbrandt in his last fight, which was back in June of 2020 against Raphael Assuncao. While we ripped up that ticket, we have not changed our position on "No Love." Here's what we wrote then:
"There was a time when "No Love" brought the perfect blend of power, speed, charisma and the good looks necessary to breakthrough into the mainstream and many pundits have speculated that he'll be thrust right back into the title scene with a win tonight." Well, the former bantamweight champion did win and into the title picture he was thrust
Garbrandt was slated to face Deiveson Figueiredo last November. Sure, Figueiredo is the 125 lbs champ and "No Love" fights at 135 lbs, but "Cody's cute and has a neck tattoo; the ladies love that shit!" (Dana White, probably). Obviously, that fight did not happen, as "No Love" was hurt (again) after tearing his bicep. Garbrandt also said in interviews that he had suffered a bout of COVID-19 in August and that the virus left him suffering from thrombosis, brain fog and pneumonia. Pretty serious, all things considered.
While this may not apply to Garbrandt, studies show some members of the population are COVID "long haulers'' that suffer the effects of the virus long after it's passed. Even if Cody's fully recovered, we know that the virus is severe for many, including top-level athletes that have said COVID "kicked their ass." We're not doctors, but Garbrandt's description seems to suggest he's in that group. You can now add this most recent layoff to his prolonged time outside of the Octagon. "No Love" has only fought four times in the last four years. If he knocked the ring rust off in his second-round TKO of Assuncao, the nearly 12 months off due to injury and infection have likely given it plenty of time to set back in. Even if "No Love" is 100% and fully operational, a leopard never changes his spots. Garbrandt has spent much of his time this week in front of the press touting that there will be a "new version" of "No Love," "This ain't the Cody Garbrandt that he's seen." If "No Love" thinks he's going to reinvent himself after nearly a decade of cage fighting and a dozen concussions, we wish him all the best in that endeavour. However, unless dude got an iron chin implant, he's always one clean shot from going lights out.
Perhaps we are missing something, but there is no way that Rob Font can be a coinflip in this fight. Dude is on a tear with four wins in his last five fights. Perhaps we don't appreciate that Font is not "mainstream," as this is just his first opportunity to headline a UFC card. Last we checked, though, this was not a popularity contest, it was a fucking cage fight and Rob Font is a really, really good cage fighter. Included in his three-fight win streak are bonus wins over Marlon Moraes (Performance of the Night) and Ricky Simon (Fight of the Night). His first win of this run was over Sergio Pettis, who himself is on a four fight win streak.
Back to Font, who is the #3 ranked bantamweight and for whom a win would likely mean a title shot after Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan figure out "Knee-gate." The same could be said for Garbrandt, but his ranking (#4) is absurd considering his layoff, but his being overvalued and unjustly ranked suits our needs here. Now we get to back a superior fighter who is just scratching the surface of how good he can be against a tomato can, a cute tomato can, but a tomato can nonetheless. Can "No Love" catch Font here? Sure, it's a fist fight, but the more likely scenario is that Font puts Garbradt on the mat before the final horn. Oddsmakers do not think this fight will go the distance (-280) and neither do we. Therefore, Rob Font to win inside the distance at +140 or thereabouts would be the prudent play. If both men survive to see the scorecards, so be it. Regardless of how you play it, there is tremendous value on Font tonight. It is so great, in fact, that we cannot bring ourselves to post another fight. This is the one. We'll see you at the window.
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Rob Font (Inside the Distance) +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)