Rob Font may not be the first Puerto Rican to make it on to the PGA Tour, but don’t tell the budding Chi-Chi Rodriguez he doesn’t have a shot.
Then again, there is the business of a fight with Pedro Munhoz in Sao Paulo on Oct. 28 first, so for now, the links will have to wait. But all kidding aside, ever since being introduced to golf by fellow UFC fighter Calvin Kattar four months ago, it’s been a nice distraction for the New England bantamweight.
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“I think it’s huge,” he said of the beauty of having some time away from the fight game. “Especially coming up, I would get in too deep. I would watch it (fighting) on TV, watch it on YouTube and Fight Pass – old fights, new fights, my fights, my opponent’s fights, and you can definitely get lost in it. So I do believe getting away is good. It helps out because you get rejuvenated and I think it helps your game feel fresh. You get more excited to go train once you get a break from it.”
It’s just another chapter in the education of Font, who has won four of his five UFC bouts, with recent finishes of Matt Schnell and Douglas Silva de Andrade putting him in the top 15. Now he’s ready for more, and it starts with the No. 12-ranked Munhoz.
“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in there,” he said. “My confidence is definitely up, I know what it is to win, I know what it is to lose, and I think this is the perfect fight for me to showcase what I can do. The guy’s been around for a while and he’s taken a lot of tough fights. He made his debut against Raphael Assuncao, so he’s fought a lot of tough guys, and I think if I go out there and I perform the way I know I can and put him away, it will be my coming out fight and people will say, ‘He’s for real now.’”
If Font does come away with the win, it will also put to rest the memory of his lone UFC loss, a 2016 decision defeat at the hands of John Lineker. Now he’ll face another Brazilian in Brazil in only his second fight outside of the United States.
“I wouldn’t say I’m too superstitious, but I definitely gotta go back and get that W,” said the 30-year-old. “I believe as a fighter, you should be able to fight anytime at any place, so I don’t want to be the guy saying, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go back to Brazil and fight.’ I feel like I could go anywhere and fight if I needed to, so I definitely wanted to go back. Obviously, the
travel is kind of tough, so we’re leaving two days earlier, but besides that, I want to go out there and get my hand raised in Brazil.”
Font, known for his prowess in the standup game, also wouldn’t mind getting a submission against Munhoz, because it’s clear as of late that if the Woburn, Massachusetts product loves any part of MMA in particular, it’s the ground game.
“I definitely don’t want to push the takedown, but if it lands there, I’m fine with it,” he said. “I’m confident in my skills. Obviously I want to get my hands on him first and put him away as soon as possible, but if it hits the ground, I’m gonna be comfortable. I wouldn’t mind getting a submission, especially in Brazil against a black belt. But if I’m not feeling it and it’s getting hectic, I’m definitely gonna get out of there and keep it standing.”
But be honest, Rob. If the MMA Gods granted you a win, any win, by knockout or submission, what would you take?
“I’m taking the submission,” he says without hesitation.
Wow. What happened to the Rob Font we used to know?
“Jiu-Jitsu changed my life, man.”