UFC on ESPN 31: Font vs. Aldo Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2021

UFC on ESPN 31: Font vs. Aldo Odds, Schedule, Predictions

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    Rob Font will seek to take out his second former UFC champion in a row against Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC on ESPN 31 from the UFC APEX Facility in Las Vegas. 

    Font has broken into the top tier of the bantamweight division with a victory over Cody Garbrandt to get his win streak to four. The 34-year-old continues to show signs of improvement and should be looking to make a case for a title shot soon. 

    Standing in his way will be one of the greatest featherweights of all-time in Aldo. He started off 0-2 in the bantamweight division but has since found his footing in winning his last two fights against Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz. 

    Now, he turns his attention to Font looking to use his momentum to prop up his odds of re-entering the title picture. 

    Here's a look at the complete card with the latest odds and a closer look at the biggest fights of the night.  

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)

    • Rob Font (-155) vs. Jose Aldo (+135)
    • Rafael Fiziev (-115) vs. Brad Riddell (+105)
    • Jimmy Crute (-170) vs. Jamahal Hill (+150)
    • Clay Guida (+160) vs. Leonardo Santos (-190)
    • Brendan Allen (-365) vs. Chris Curtis (+280)
    • Mickey Gall (+215) vs. Alex Morono (-265)

    Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)

    • Maki Pitolo (+150) vs. Dusko Todorovic (-170)
    • Manel Kape (-305) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+240)
    • Bryan Barberena (-130) vs. Darian Weeks (+110)
    • Jake Matthews (-180) vs. Jeremiah Wells (+155)
    • Mallory Martin (+160) vs. Cheyanne Vlismas (-190)
    • William Knight (+130) vs. Alonzo Menifield (-150)
    • Chris Gruetzemacher (+110) vs. Claudio Puelles (-130)
    • Vince Morales (+135) vs. Louis Smolka (-155)

    Odds via DraftKings.

Font vs. Aldo

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    The fact that this fight is going to five rounds as a main event will drive the intrigue. Rob Font likes to push a pace and can go to his grappling if need be to wear down opponents. 

    Conversely, cardio has always been a mixed bag when it comes to Aldo. He's a cold-blooded counter-striker, but it's not uncommon for him to coast through a round as he prefers to work in bursts. 

    If this were a three-round fight, there would be little question that Aldo would be able to pick his spots well enough to win at least two of the three rounds. However, winning three of five is a little different story. 

    Of course, that's if Aldo fights like he did in his last outing against Pedro Munhoz. He picked up the pace in all three rounds and ended up landing 114 significant strikes. 

    That's an encouraging sign, and as Aldo continues to make the cut down to 135, it's possible his cardio will be more consistent. Based on his last fight, that looks to be the case and makes it hard to pick against him. 

    Prediction: Aldo via decision

Fiziev vs. Riddell

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    Both Rafael Fiziev and Brad Riddell are 10-1 and both are lurking just outside of the top 10 in the lightweight division. 

    One is going to have a pretty good case to break into that tier after Saturday night. Fiziev is the slight favorite, but the two match up pretty evenly.

    Fiziev is not afraid of a firefight. He averages 5.34 significant strikes per minute, but he also absorbs 5.76, per UFC Stats, so his striking defense isn't exactly airtight. 

    Riddell is a little more measured in his pace but mixes in more takedowns as well. He averages two per 15 minutes and can use it as a fall back when he doesn't hold the striking advantage. That isn't to say that he doesn't have striking skills as well. That's still his primary path to victory. 

    However, he could find himself in some bad spots in this fight and utilize it to gain the edge and score the decision win. 

    Prediction: Riddell via decision

Crute vs. Hill

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    While Fiziev and Riddell are two really similar fighters, there's quite a bit of difference between Jimmy Crute and Jamahal Hill. 

    Crute has proved capable of winning a fight in various ways. He has four submission wins and five knockouts. He has earned a finish in each one of his four victorious UFC fights. 

    The Australian has had some disappointments already in the UFC, though. He most recently lost via first-round TKO to Anthony Smith and has a submission loss to Misha Cirkunov on his resume as well. 

    That loss isn't likely to play into this one. Hill does not have a submission win to his name. However, Hill does have a similar build to Smith. Hill stands at 6'4" with a 79-inch reach, and he uses that frame well. He's good at establishing range and keeping opponents at arm's length. 

    So this fight is going to come down to distance. If Hill can continue to stick and move, he will be in a position to steal a decision. If Crute, can get this fight into close quarters, he could win by submission or simply outstrike him in a phone booth. 

    Prediction: Hill via decision


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