The year may be drawing to a close, but anyone expecting UFC to take it slow as we approach 2022 is sadly mistaken.

Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is back in action this weekend taking on bantamweight contender Rob Font at the UFC Apex, before UFC 269 takes place next week.

There’s quality throughout Saturday’s card and we preview the best of the action below and look through the UFC betting odds.

Rob Font (#4) v Jose Aldo (#5) – Bantamweight

This is another excellent match-up for a Fight Night main event, with both men looking to put their name in the hat for a match-up with the bantamweight champion. Whether that be champion Aljamain Sterling or interim champion Petr Yan remains to be seen, however.

Aldo is as experienced as they come and although most of his championship career was fought at featherweight, the move down to bantamweight has suited him thus far. In his 37 professional bouts, he’s picked up 30 wins and competed in 12 title fights, the seventh most of any UFC fighter in history.

Despite being just a year younger than Aldo, Font has much less experience in the big spots. In fact, Aldo has more title fights (12) than Font has UFC appearances in total (11). By the time Font made his professional debut in 2011, Aldo had already become featherweight champion and defended the belt.

Despite this difference in top level experience, Font is by no means lacking in skill. His long, rangy jab is one of the strongest in the entire sport, and he has used it as his primary weapon when wearing down top level opposition like Cody Garbrandt. He started slow in that fight, before getting into it at the end of round one and taking over using the aforementioned jab in round two. He looks to pressure his opponents, forcing them against the cage before selecting the right opportunities to land with a big right.

We know that with Aldo we’re going to get high-level striking, both offensively and defensively, but the changes he’s made to his boxing in recent years has made him a little more flat-footed than he was previously. If he’s able to get inside and into the pocket with Font, he’ll look to land some of the devastating body shots that he is renowned for. This could also work to Font’s benefit, however, if Aldo is unable to move out of range of his jab.

Font has the edge on the odds, currently a 4/6 favourite with Aldo available at 5/4 to win. Four of Font’s last five fights have gone the distance, with the American 7/4 to win via decision. Aldo has lost five of his last 10 UFC appearances and is 4/1 to land a major KO/TKO win on Saturday night.

Rest of the Card

Elsewhere on the card, Brad Riddell and Rafael Fiziev are both looking to stake a claim to move into the top 10 of the lightweight rankings in what is set to be an explosive match-up. Both are coming into this one on a four-fight winning streak, with little to separate them in the odds thus far. Riddell is currently 1/1 to pick up the win, with Fiziev available at 4/5.

Veterans Clay Guida and Leonardo Santos, with the best part of 40 years of MMA experience behind them, face off in another intriguing lightweight encounter. Despite being the older of the two, Guida has looked to have more of the legs in recent appearances, while Santos has leant more on his explosive striking in the early parts of fights. Santo is 8/15 to win this one with Guida a 6/4 outsider.

Elsewhere, at light heavyweight, Jimmy Crute and Jamahal Hill both return from injury-inducing losses in a fight with massive amounts of potential. Crute is seen as a future star of the division aged just 25, while Hill already has the likes of Ovince Saint Preux on his record in his first nine professional bouts. Crute is the 8/15 favourite at this stage, with Hill available at 6/4.

Check out all the latest UFC betting odds at William Hill