Mario Bautista says UFC callout of Rob Font part of three-step plan: ‘Top 15, top 10, and top five’

LAS VEGAS – Mario Bautista arguably notched the most impressive victory of his professional career Saturday at UFC Fight Night 234 when he defeated Ricky Simon by unanimous decision, but the focus is forward, forward, forward.

Following the win at the UFC Apex, Bautista (14-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) called out multitime promotional headliner Rob Font (20-8 MMA, 10-7 UFC) for a bantamweight contender battle.

“He’s lost in some certain ways,” Bautista told MMA Junkie and other reporters when asked about the callout at a post-fight news conference. “Whatever way the water flows easiest (is how I’ll win).”

Bautista likely will break into the promotion’s official rankings Monday. Currently, Font sits at No. 9, but is off back-to-back losses to Cory Sandhagen and Deiveson Figueiredo. Font, 36, doesn’t currently have a fight on the books.

“I would say around springtime, (I want to return),” Bautista said. “The way I planned it out is top 15, top 10 and top five at the end of the year (for my next opponents).”

Bautista was one of two MMA Lab fighters, along with teammate Marcus McGhee, to win at UFC Fight Night 234. The gym, which was put on the map due to the championship run former lightweight titleholder Benson Henderson and head coach John Crouch put together years ago, has found great success in recent months with Bautista, Sean O’Malley, Jared Cannonier, and others finding great success in the cage. Bautista aims to keep the momentum going.

“It’s been great at the MMA Lab,” Bautista said. “It’s something we’ve built over the years, starting with Benson Henderson. He’s built this blueprint for us to follow to be where we’re at today. That’s all it is: Years of training all coming to a point.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 234.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie