UFC Vegas 53 Main Card Predictions: Font vs. Vera

The final UFC event of April has arrived, bringing an eleven bout fight card to the UFC Apex at the time of writing.

In the main event, Bantamweight brawlers are set to square off as Rob Font looks to rebound at the expense of the rising Marlon Vera. In the co-main event, Andrei Arlovski seeks to continue his age-defying ways up against Jake Collier, who is fresh off a first round submission win.

Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera (BW)

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Rob Font (19-5, 9-4 UFC) made waves in the Bantamweight division in his last outing, knocking out title challenger Marlon Moraes in the first round. He followed that up with a dominant performance over Cody Garbrandt, but dropped a decision in his next outing to Jose Aldo. Font has a well-rounded skillset but shines through with his superb boxing technique. He is a boxer by trade, stopping twelve of his pro bouts inside the distance and eight by knockout. On the feet, Font likes to pressure forward and use feints to judge his opponent’s timing, using a diverse arsenal of strikes (I particularly like his sneaky quick right high kick) and not discriminating to the head. However, Font’s chin can be found inside the pocket when he is not able to use his quick footwork to quickly exit, though he has never been knocked out. Though he has some offensive wrestling and defensive submissions, he has a weakness in his takedown defense, but does find his footing quickly.

Marlon Vera (20-7-1, 12-6 UFC) was on the heels of a two-fight winning streak, since losing a unanimous decision to Jose Aldo. His most impressive there was his last outing, where he knocked Frankie Edgar into meme status. Prior to that, he made headlines by knocking out Sean O’Malley after a leg kick caused an injury. “Chito” has long been beloved by hardcore fans and it isn’t hard to see why. He has an stellar submission offense along with heavy hands for the division, earning seventeen finishes and six by knockout. Vera is a dangerous fighter to take on for anyone with his pressure and offensive capabilities. Every loss of his is in a decision and it has come when fighters are able to weather the storm and return fire at a higher rate.

What a fun main event matchup between two fighters looking to solidify their place in the top 10. Marlon Vera is a reputable finisher that is as well-rounded as they come, and constantly touts his gas tank, a factor I am excited to see tested in a five-round affair. He is dangerous on the feet or mat and boasts a diverse striking arsenal. Font is the more textbook fighter, a slick boxer with high accuracy and a consistent output. I expect a striking affair in this contest, for while Font has middling takedown defense, Chito lacks the wrestling to consistently ring it to the floor. I expect a strong start from Vera, before Font pulls away en route to a late knockout or decision.

My Pick: Rob Font via Knockout

Jake Collier vs. Andrei Arlovski (HW)

My Pick: Jake Collier via Decision

Darren Elkins vs. Tristan Connelly (FTW)

My Pick: Tristan Connelly via Decision

Gerald Meerschaert vs. Krzysztof Jotko (MW)

My Pick: Krzysztof Jotko via Decision

Jared Gordon vs. Grant Dawson (LW)

My Pick: Grant Dawson via Submission

Andre Fili vs. Joanderson Brito (FTW)

My Pick: Joanderson Brito via Decision

The fight card starts off at 4 PM EST, with five prelims leading up to the main card action.

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