Rob Font and Cody Stamann offer different takes on their non-booking at UFC on ESPN 7
WASHINGTON – A pair of bantamweight rivals are set for action on the main card at UFC on ESPN 7, but they won’t be fighting each other.
Both men were booked to fight Saturday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., but won’t be fighting each other. Instead, Font (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) will kick off the main card against Ricky Simon, while Stamann (18-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will face off against Song Yadong in the following matchup.
It could make for an interesting dynamic in the locker room as two fighters who might have expected to face off against each other instead get set to compete on the same night in separate bouts. They even are likely to be warming up alongside each other in the same red corner dressing room ahead of their bouts, which run back-to-back at the start of the main card.
“I knew that he didn’t want that fight from the beginning,” Font said Thursday. “He’s claiming that this kid he’s fighting is the next big thing, which – he is good. Don’t get it twisted. But he doesn’t have that big Conor McGregor effect or this big buzz about him that he’s claiming. It is what it is. You can tell he didn’t want the fight from the beginning.
“We get the Cody fight in Greenville, he pulls out with a shoulder injury, and then they don’t rebook it. I don’t understand. But then they rebook him again on the same card but a whole different fight, which is – whatever.”
Stamann sees things differently and says that he always viewed Font simply as a stepping stone to bigger fights in the bantamweight division. And now he’s been handed a matchup with Yadong, he says Font has become surplus to his requirements.
“Rob Font should just count his blessings and he should just be thankful that he got Ricky Simon instead of me,” he said.
“Even when I got that fight I was like, ‘OK, I’ll fight Rob Font. It’s gonna be a nasty fight, but I’m gonna whup his ass and then I’ll fight someone that actually means something at the end of the year.’ And I’m doing that (now).”
Font said there was never any issue that left him feeling compelled to face Stamann, but suggested that his bantamweight colleague has plenty on his plate with Yadong, who could put an end to “The Spartan’s” upward trajectory on Saturday night.
“Listen, Cody goes out there, he gets put away, nobody’s talking about him no more,” he said. “It is what it is. The kid’s good, but Cody’s boring – he’s a boring fighter. I just wanted to fight him because that was the name that was thrown at me. It wasn’t a vendetta against him or a huge opportunity.”
The Boston-based bantamweight said that he’d be happy to face Stamann further down the line, though he said he isn’t clamoring for the matchup.
“Honestly, I don’t think he can make it to the fight,” he said. “I really don’t think he’ll make it to the fight. Somehow, he’s injured. The next week, he’s fine. I don’t think he’ll make it to the fight. So if the fight happens, it’s cool. I wouldn’t mind putting him away, but I’m not stressing him.”
If Font is lukewarm on eventually facing Stamann, Stamann himself is virtually ice-cold on the idea.
“I don’t really give two (expletives) about Rob Font,” Stamann said. “I mean, honestly, who the (expletive) is Rob Font? Nobody’s saying Rob Font’s the next guy to take the belt. No one’s saying anything about Rob Font. I haven’t heard (expletive) about the guy. So fighting Rob Font is completely irrelevant in my eyes.”