UFC & MMA Betting
UFC 287: Keys to Victory for Adrian Yanez vs Rob Font
One of the most highly-anticipated match-ups for this weekend's event is Adrian Yanez vs Rob Font. This has “Striker's delight” written all over it
Adrian Yanez, still on the better side of 30 years old, will put his nine-fight winning streak and undefeated UFC record on the line this weekend. His opponent is none other than the tried and true, always-game, Rob Font. This Saturday, leave the urge to blink in bed and make sure you're tuned in for this fight!
Both fighters have an affinity for flexing their boxing prowess. Adrian Yanez joined the UFC in 2020 after a successful outing on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Since this win, he's gone a perfect 5-0 and won four of these via knockout. However, his opponent for this weekend is a steep step up the ranks.
Rob Font has fought the who's who at bantamweight. Jose Aldo, Cody Garbrandt, Marlon Vera — the list goes on for awhile, but the point is that Font can hang with the best of them. Font looks to pump the brakes on what is a two-fight losing streak and take the momentum that Yanez has while doing so. Having taken the past year off, perhaps we'll see a rejuvenated Rob Font.
Momentum vs tenure, the new dog vs the (relatively) old dog, striker vs striker, we have Adrian Yanez vs Rob Font! Let's delve into the keys to victory for both of these athletes.
Adrian Yanez vs Rob Font: Yanez's keys to victory
Punches in bunches
Adrian Yanez is in the conversation when discussing the best boxers in the UFC. This dude's hands have proliferated the wins and manufactured quite the highlight reel for the 29-year-old. Again, this is a steep up in competition and experience, but what better tools to use than the ones that got him to the big dance in the first place?
Yanez would be wise to put together combinations when he can. Font, as seen in his Cody Garbrandt fight, would be more than happy to trade jabs all night. If Adrian is able to get past the jab and let his hands go, then things should sway in favor of him.
Israel Adesanya had very high praise for Adrian Yanez: “He’s the next champ" 🏆
Full #UFC287 scrum ▶️ https://t.co/k6cSRel5E0 pic.twitter.com/c3cAC6OIGw
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 5, 2023
Nullify the jab
Speaking of getting past the jab… Rob Font has one of the best jabs in the UFC. Despite his two-fight losing streak, he out-struck Marlon Vera and Jose Aldo. So, the jab may be the number one issue that stands between Yanez and the bantamweight top ten.
When Yanez fought Randy Costa, he ate an absurd amount of jabs. Perhaps Yanez didn't want to move his head out of trepidation for Costa's quick kicks, but if he wants to get the win this weekend, e needs to mitigate the jabs absorbed.
Head movement, parry the jab, counter with ill intent… Whatever will stop Font's jab from landing of even being thrown, this will increase Yanez's chance of victory tremendously.
Stay true to his style
When I think of Adrian Yanez knockouts, I imagine a smooth striker letting the knockout blossom organically. Yanez isn't going out there and throwing hammers until something hits, but rather, he stays calm and calculated.
Font has been dropped five times in his last two fights. Should Yanez be able to find his opponent's chin, he shouldn't rush to finish. As I said, Font has been dropped a lot, but never finished with strikes. The “R” in “Rob” stands for resilience I think.
Of course, Yanez should hunt the finish if he can smell blood, but Font is one of the last guys Yanez wants to be tired against. A gassed Yanez could mean a new record for jabs landed.
This is a huge opportunity for the younger fighter, but he needs to stay grounded in what got him here. Keep it chill, Yanez.
Diversify the strikes
If you look up Adrian Yanez's name, about a minute of research will tell you “Hey, don't box with this guy”, right? He's more than a boxer, though. Yanez can wrestle, he can kick, and he can certainly mix things up well.
If Yanez can attack the body, throw some head kicks, and even shoot a takedown or two, this will work to disrupt Font's game. There's no doubt that Font isn't ready for all of those attacks, but the primary focus when thinking of Yanez is the boxing. Mixing it up serves almost any fighter well, but certainly in a fight like this.
Adrian Yanez vs Rob Font: Font's keys to victory
Pop that jab like never before
If Rob Font can do anything, it's jab. Of course, he can thankfully do a lot more, but that jab is a thing of beauty. Font, and many of the people around him, believe he has the best jab in the UFC.
I cited this fight earlier, but Yanez was getting eaten alive by Randy Costa's jab. Of course, this was a different fight with a different fighter and the game changes. Still, if Yanez doesn't have an answer for the jab, and early on, then it's going to be a very long and painful night for him.
Lean on the experience
Rob Font's resume is a bit more exciting than Yanez's, and that's me using an understatement to be nice. Sure, Rob has lost some fights, but he's won some huge bouts. He has a win over a former champion on his record, and the best thing that Yanez has as of now is probably his split-decision win over Davey Grant.
Font should go out there and fight like he's the big brother, and he has all the tools to do so. On paper, Yanez can't show anything to Rob that Rob hasn't dealt with already. While that's a statement that can only be said on paper, it could materialize into the fight.
Stay in the fight
In the past, Rob has been dropped and almost seemed discouraged. And hey, getting dropped has got to be a discouraging thing. However, on the opposite side of a knockdown is a round that Font is typically winning.
The Marlon Vera fight is a great example; Font will be winning most of the fight but he'll lose the big moments. Eating a shot and going down isn't ideal, but if it happens, Font needs to be mentally prepared to dust himself off and try to steal the round back.
This is only three rounds, so a knockdown can sway a decision a lot easier than the five-rounders that Font has previously been a part of. Staying focused and getting back at it will help him win if things it the fan. But, even if things go well, this mindset will be beneficial.
The cleaner, the better
So, if we're going chin-for-chin in this fight, then it would seem to favor Adrian Yanez. And — in previous bouts against Davey Grant, Randy Costa, and more one-sidedly, Tony Kelley — Yanez has shown that he's game for a dog fight.
Entertaining a dirty boxing match with Yanez is probably a losing battle. Font will need to pick his shots, only enter the fire when it's looking good for him, and make the most of his very minute reach advantage. Again, Yanez is one of the cleanest boxers in the UFC right now, but Font is right up there with him; should he play off of his perks, like the jab and reach, then this fight could go his way.