Rob Font vs. Cody Garbrandt UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Bantamweight Main Event (Saturday, May 22)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Cody Garbrandt.
- Nos. 3 and 4 in the UFC bantamweight division face off on Saturday when Rob Font faces Cody Garbrandt.
- Both Font and Garbrandt are coming off impressive finishes and could put themselves in the title picture with a win.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the main event's betting value below, delivering his best bet for the fight.
Rob Font vs. Cody Garbrandt Odds
A future Bantamweight title challenger could emerge from Saturday's main event between No. 3 bantamweight contender Rob Font and No. 4 contender Cody Garbrandt, in what shapes up as a high-variance and violent striking battle.
Garbrandt, a former bantamweight champion, is looking to string together consecutive wins for the first time since December 2016, when he took UFC gold off of Dominick Cruz.
Font enters Saturday on a three-fight winning streak with an 8-3 record in the UFC, and he's looking to extend his unbeaten run following a knockout win over Marlon Moraes last December.
Below, I preview the matchup and odds for Saturday's fight.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:06||8:57|
|Weight (pounds)||136 lbs.||135.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/25/87||7/7/91|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.21||3.35|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.83||3.33|
|Take Down Avg||1.2||0.84|
Based solely upon metrics, Font has a significant advantage in both reach and volume. If he's able to stay on the outside of the octagon, he should be able to pick away at Garbrandt with his jab and win the majority of minutes in this fight.
Garbrandt made an effort to show more patience in his most recent win over Raphael Assuncao, against whom he turned in a buzzer-beating knockout at the end of the second-round:
However, Garbrandt only led the striking battle 20-17 after 10 full minutes of action and it's difficult to envision him winning the volume battle over the course of 25 minutes against Font, who lands an additional 1.8 strikes per minute.
Font is also more responsible defensively (+1.38 to +0.02 significant strike margin), and Garbrandt has shown low fight IQ when he gets frustrated, standing in the pocket and swinging with essentially zero head movement, which led to three consecutive knockout losses.
While Garbrandt was a standout high-school wrestler, he has mostly relied upon his boxing in the UFC. He has rarely attempted takedowns, primarily using his wrestling to keep his fights standing. If Garbrandt decides to change levels in this contest, he might have more success and look like a favorite in what is currently lined as a pick'em fight, but I expect to see a striker vs. striker battle here.
Garbrandt has some of the fastest hands in the promotion and should have both the power and speed edge against Font. But I would give the edge to Font in terms of durability. If this does turn into a brawl, I think he's equally likely to finish as a result.
Font has also proven to be versatile with his style, changing his game plan for each of his past three wins. Both his takedown defense and ability to work off of his back had clearly improved before the Moraes fight (following a year-long layoff).
Font vs. Garbrandt Pick
The betting market suggests that this fight is highly likely to end inside the distance (listed -278, implied 73.5%), and my projection thinks a stoppage is even likelier (projected -329, or 77% implied odds). However, I won't make a play on that prop. I would need at least a 5% edge (around -250) to lay significant juice on that finish prop.
Alternatively, I considered a bet on the Under 2.5 rounds. Still, I could see a very slow-paced first round given Garbrandt's intentions and most recent fight. If this does get to the championship rounds, despite some big shots, I won't be shocked.
I see slight value on Font's knockout prop (projected +148, listed +150) and inside the distance prop (projected +139, listed +140), but not enough to make a play in the winning method market.
I projected Font as a 58% favorite in this fight, and he seemingly has more ways to win the contest since he's more likely to win minutes and secure a decision if this does manage to go the full 25 minutes. Moreover, I give Font nearly as strong of a chance (75% of his win condition) of finding a finish as I do Garbrandt (79%).
I would bet Fon't moneyline up to -122, at more than a 2.5% edge relative to my projection; he offers more paths to victory. Still, this could be a high-variance brawl, and I'm keeping my wager relatively small.
The Pick: Rob Font (bet to -122, 0.5 units)