Custom Search

April 11, 2013

Beantown native Font ready to step to the plate again in yet another tough fight Friday

CES Photo by Kelly MacDonald


LINCOLN, R.I. (April 10th, 2013) -- Rather than sit back and wait for the right fight to come to him, Rob Font has taken a much more proactive approach to his budding mixed martial arts career.

"If you're willing to fight all of the tougher guys no one else wants to fight, you can stay busy," said the Boston native, who'll return to the cage Friday night at Twin River Casino. "If you try to look for that guy with a 5-5 record, it might not work out."

No wonder Font (5-1, 1 KO) has been so active this year; in February, he dominated former No. 1-ranked featherweight Saul Almeida in one of the early-candidates for the 2013 upset of the year, and now he's preparing for another tall task Friday, April 12th, 2013 when he faces undefeated Lucas Cruz (6-0, 2 KOs) on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports' "Path Of Destruction" card.

Coincidentally, Font has carved his own path the old-fashioned way by taking on whoever stands in front of him, regardless of record, height or whatever intangible that might work against him. The win over Almeida, a former Bellator Fighting Championships veteran, was the biggest of his career, which began professionally in 2011, but he could surpass that Friday if he upends Cruz, a rising star also fighting out of Boston who has racked up his own impressive resume since he first stepped into the cage two years ago.

"This is a totally different matchup," said Font, referring primarily to the contrast in style between Almeida and Cruz, not to mention Almeida's lanky, 6-foot-1 frame, "but I honestly think it's a better matchup for me stylistically.

"With Almeida, you're dealing with his length and his grappling. Cruz comes forward, and I think I'm a better counterpuncher than anyone he's ever fought."

Against Almeida, Cruz stayed on the outside and used a deadly arsenal of front- and rear-leg kicks, along with his jab, to keep his taller opponent at bay.

"Everyone who fights tall guys always tries to get on the inside and work the body, but I didn't want to get too close where he could take me down," Font said. "I could definitely see his frustration building up. He tried to shoot for a takedown like three or four times, but he wasn't even close. I knew his whole game plan; he likes to take you down, stay on top and smother you."

Can Font prevent Cruz from implementing his own game plan? Chances are both fighters stay on their feet for the duration of the fight, which is the way Font wants it.

"I love those kind of fights," he said. "Those are the fights I do well in. I can't wait. He's a little like [Ultimate Fighting Championships middleweight champion] Anderson Silva in that he always comes forward. He likes to clinch a lot and drive those knees. I need a lot of lateral movement and to keep my jab in his face the whole time."

Cruz not only presents a different challenge, but perhaps the most difficult fight of Font's young career. Nicknamed "The Golden Boy," the 23-year-old Cruz last fought in December when he won a unanimous decision against previously-unbeaten featherweight Andres Jeudi. Prior to that, he won convincingly against veterans John Ortolani (first-round knockout) and Pete Jeffrey (first-round submission) to earn a spot among the top five fighters in his weight class in the northeast. Typically a lightweight, Cruz is moving down to featherweight for this fight and, in doing so, taking on one of the hottest fighters in this weight class.

With a win Friday, Font could wind up in the same conversation among the best featherweights in the region.

"That'd be awesome," Font said. "I feel I've been battle-tested, and Cruz is another worthy opponent."

Tickets for "Path To Destruction" are $36.00, $56.00, $101.00 and $126.00 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at or, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

The main event of "Path To Destruction" is a rematch between the Pawtucket, R.I., native Chattelle (11-8, 8 KOs) and Dennis Olson (12-7, 1 KO) of Amherst, N.H. The undercard features nine bouts, including Rhode Island natives Shaun Marmas (4-4, 1 KO) of Coventry and Providence's Thomas Evans (2-1), who will face one another in a three-round featherweight bout, and Boston's John "Doomsday" Howard (17-7, 8 KOs), who will face Iowa's Jason Louck (15-10, 7 KOs) in a middleweight bout.

Also on the undercard, TriForce's Keenan Raymond will debut against Northborough, Mass., lightweight Jay Bakanowski (1-1); Kody Norby (3-0) of Woonsocket, R.I., will put his unbeaten record on the line against flyweight Jimmy Grant (3-1) of Carlstadt, N.J.; and welterweight Toby Oden (1-0) of Milford, Mass., will return against Jersey City veteran Emmanuel Walo (2-1).

Fan-favorite Dinis Paiva Jr. (3-3, 1 KO) of East Providence, R.I., will also be back in action searching for his third consecutive win against Cambridge, Mass., native Kin Moy (2-0); and Massachusetts natives Matt Doherty (1-0, 1 KO) of Salem and Whitman's Johnny Campbell (5-4, 3 KOs) will square off in a bantamweight bout. Unbeaten lightweight Nate Andrews (3-0, 1 KO) will face Asa Zorn (0-1) of Salem, Conn.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for "Path To Destruction." Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance).