UFC Vegas 53: Font vs Vera Predictions

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UFC Vegas 53: Font vs Vera Predictions & Results

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With a bank holiday bumper weekend on the cards for UK fight fans, a late-night UFC Vegas 53 viewing stings a little less. The card itself features a list of fighters that each have their small clumps of fans, unfortunately for me, I am not one. I must stress, however, that this is still a decent card for quality compared to some of the dross that has been served over the past months.

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Good ol' Touchy Fili, one of the hardest workers on the roster | UFC Vegas 53 Predictions
Good ol’ Touchy Fili, one of the hardest workers on the roster | UFC Vegas 53 Predictions

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UFC Vegas 53: Main Event

Rob Font vs Marlon Vera

Bantamweight (135)

Rob Font (19-5)

If the Jose Aldo loss taught us anything, it highlighted that Font’s style can compete with the elite of the division. After suffering a slight career bump back in 2018 to Raphael Assuncao, Font honed his fantastic jab and bolstered his entire approach behind it. Sadly for Font, there is little that can be done about genetic athleticism. Aldo is a legendary genetic freak. Despite Font controlling periods of the fight with educated boxing on the outside, the American was unable to threaten Aldo enough to stop the former champ from walking him down.

For a decision fighter, Font represents every boxing fan’s wet dream in the MMA sphere. ALL of Font’s work stems from his jab. Vera has unveiled a new vemon on the outside, landing his once speculative array of dynamic kicks. Font is primed to control the pace of the fight behind his commanding jab, denying Vera the space to set up his kicks. Font’s chin is undeniable, the Floridian ate heavy artillery and kept coming back for more. Maybe it’s my love for Font, but I can smell a shut-out on the cards.

Marlon Vera (20-7-1)

Marlon Vera may be most famous for crushing the Sean O’Malley hype train, but Chito brings so much more to the octagon. Vera ploughs forwards head-first into every opponent and looks to break his opponent. Unfortunately for the Ecuadorians, his ceiling is pretty well set. Vera’s kryptonite is fighters who can handle pressure and operate off the back-foot (i.e. Aldo, Douglas Silva de Andrade) or fighters who can out-muscle Vera at his own game (John Linekar, Yadong Song).

For all the pressure and activity off the front foot, Vera sure does have a knack for letting opponents back into contests. In a five-round affair, Vera’s style does play into edging ahead in the championship rounds. Yet for Vera to make Font uncomfortable, Chito would have to attempt to take this fight to the mat. Chito’s ego for a stand-up war, as well as a lack of wrestling threat, lead me to believe this will be a pure striking battle.

Predicted Result: Font Decision

All of Font’s work stems from his jab. The American is primed to control the pace of the fight behind his commanding jab, denying Vera the space to set up his kicks. It is worth noting that in a five-round affair, Vera’s style does play into edging ahead in the championship rounds. Vera’s meatheaded approach of pressing opponents and breaking them, in addition to tapping into a second wind late in contests, could pose questions for Font that he cannot answer.

As seen against Aldo, however, Font’s chin is undeniable. The American was shaken by heavy artillery, yet attempted to adapt over the fight. Maybe it’s my love for Font, but I can smell a shut-out on the cards.

Result: Vera def. Font // Decision (UD – 48-47, 49-46, 49-46)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Crikey, Vera really did a number of Frankie Edgar | UFC Vegas 53 Predictions
Crikey, Vera really did a number of Frankie Edgar | UFC Vegas 53 Predictions

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UFC Vegas 53: Co-Main Event

Jake Collier vs Andrei Arlovski

Heavyweight (265)

Jake Collier (13-6)

To be fair to Collier, he has managed to find some success at Heavyweight. Despite being wildly overweight and fighting well above his natural weight class, Collier’s frantic volume boxing has benefited him against sloppy, down-on-their-luck Heavyweights. Against a shrewd counter-striker in Arlovski, Collier’s tendency to fall into his shots will spell doom. Add in Arlovski’s strong TDD and a worrying picture emerges of Collier fully shut down on the feet by the veteran.

Andrei Arlovski (33-20)

I’m torn. On the one hand, the longer Arlovski beats the upcomers at Heavyweight, the more it shines a light on how dreadful the division is. On the other hand, Arlovski fights are a complete snooze in which the fifty-plus fight veteran has crafted the perfect style to steal rounds. Conservative on the back-foot, Arlovski lets his opponents unravel on the feet as they become increasingly desperate to break the Belarussian’s guard. It isn’t pretty, but damn if it isn’t successful.

Predicted Result: Arlovski Decision

Despite being wildly overweight and fighting well above his natural weight class, Collier’s frantic volume boxing has benefited him against sloppy, down-on-their-luck Heavyweights. Against Mr Conservative, Arlovski’s patient counter-punching and strong TDD will leave Collier without answers after a potentially exciting first round.

Result: Arlovski def. Collier // Decision (Split – 27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Will this man ever retire? | UFC Vegas 53: Predictions
Will this man ever retire? | UFC Vegas 53: Predictions

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UFC Vegas 53: Main Card

Andre Fili vs Joanderson Brito

Featherweight (145)

Andre Fili (21-8)

What are the UFC’s plans with Touchy Fili? Granted, Fili has failed upon every call to make ‘that’ next step up the rankings. Yet the Team Alpha Male fighter is nearing a decade with the organisation and finds himself stuck around the same ranking as his debut. A thoroughly solid wrestler, Brito is going to struggle to out-wrestle Fili. Over recent fights, Fili has become a far more consistent threat on the feet, especially timing short exchanges and exiting the pocket.

Joanderson Brito (12-3-1)

The shortcomings of Joanderson Brito’s style were fully visible in his loss to Bill Algeo. The combination of explosive head-down hooks and high kicks is perfect for securing finishes on the regional scene. Against more athletic, more technically polished fighters in the UFC, Brito’s lack of striking layers means that his dangerous flurries can be easily predicted and avoided.

Predicted Result: Fili TKO Round 3

A thoroughly solid wrestler, Brito is going to struggle to out-wrestle Fili. Over recent fights, Fili has become a far more consistent threat on the feet, especially timing short exchanges and exiting the pocket. Brito carries power and is an explosive threat, but his inability to layer exchanges means that his dangerous flurries can be predicted and countered.

Result: Brito def. Fili // TKO (punches) Round 1 0:41

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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Jared Gordon vs Grant Dawson

Lightweight (155)

Jared Gordon (18-4)

I have massive respect for Flash, beating Joe Solecki at his own game only served to highlight just how technically polished Gordon is on the mat. Sadly, even whilst he rides a three-fight streak, I simply cannot physically motivate myself to watch a Jared Gordon fight. The big question for this fight revolves around whether Dawson can take Gordon down? If yes, you’d have to wager Dawson finding more success from top position than Joe Solecki. If not, Dawson’s going to struggle against Gordon’s functional boxing.

Grant Dawson (17-1-1)

After a buzzer-beater KO over Leonardo Santos, it seemed like the sky was the limit for Grant Dawson. The physical bulldozer found his athletic equal against Ricky Glenn, however. Dawson’s style thrives based on the American out-grappling his opponent. When the need to physically impose himself on opponents is such a key part of the game plan, it seems like the move to Lightweight will transpire to be a poor move.

Predicted Result: Dawson Decision

The big question for this fight revolves around whether Dawson can take Gordon down? If yes, you’d have to wager Dawson finding more success from top position than Joe Solecki. If not, Dawson’s going to struggle against Gordon’s functional boxing. Dawson’s need to bully opponents physically will find less success at Lightweight, but stumbling to a draw against Ricky Glenn last time out may have just been teething problems at the new weight.

Result: Dawson def. Gordon // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 4:11

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Darren Elkins vs Tristan Connelly

Featherweight (145)

Darren Elkins (26-10)

What a gloriously ugly fight. The days of Elkins’ phenomenal run are long past him, yet The Damage continues to ply his trade in meaningless fights. The insanely durable blood God still has the knack to snatch victories from the jaws of defeat, but only against the weakest of opposition. The Cub Swanson dismantling was one of the saddest beatdowns in recent memory. There is no denying Elkins’ fantastically gritty grappling and speculative submissions.

Tristan Connelly (14-7)

Physically, Connelly cannot last in the UFC. The Canadian is already thirty-six and only finds himself surviving on the roster because of his shock victory over Michel Pereira. Elkins should have retired after the Swanson KO, but Connelly isn’t a similar threat on the feet. Connelly has the TDD to keep this on the feet for the first half of the fight, but Elkins’ relentless pressure is designed to find the victory late against this calibre of opposition.

Predicted Result: Elkins Submission Round 3

The insanely durable blood God still has the knack to snatch victories from the jaws of defeat, but only against the weakest of opposition. Thankfully, Connelly is one of the weakest physical specimens on the roster. The Canadian has the TDD to keep this on the feet for the first half of the fight, but Elkins’ relentless pressure has regularly led him to victory late.

Result: Elkins def. Connelly // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Gerald Meerschaert vs Krzysztof Jotko

Middleweight (185)

Gerald Meerschaert (34-14)

A horrible, horrible fight. Meerschaert has found himself extremely lucky in his last two fights. On his way to defeats, both Makhmud Muradov and Dustin Stoltzfus switched off and allowed GM3 to snatch a rear-naked choke. Meerschart will not only struggle to takedown Jotko, but he will find further difficulty in out-grappling the Pole. On the feet, Meerschaert can just about hold his own with straight shots, but Jotko is the far more fluid striker and will have a huge speed differential.

Krzysztof Jotko (23-5)

As a proud Jotko-fight avoider, it always pains me to predict the Poles’ fights. Unless he is iced by a power puncher, Jotko is often slippery enough on the feet to dance around on the back foot. The man is the king of neutralising the opponent’s offence. Even when Jotko opens up into 4-5 shot combinations, the Pole rarely sits into his shots.

Predicted Result: Jotko Decision

Meerschart will not only struggle to takedown Jotko, but he will find further difficulty in out-grappling the Pole. On the feet, Meerschaert can just about hold his own with straight shots, but Jotko is the far more fluid striker and will have a huge speed differential. The Pole is the king of neutralising an opponent’s offence.

Result: Jotko def. Meerschaert // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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UFC Vegas 53: Preliminary Card

Alexandr Romanov vs Chase Sherman

Heavyweight (265)

Alexandr Romanov (15-0)

I’m a sick, dirty man. God knows why, but for some damned reason, this fight screams ‘Rough n Rowdy’ wholesome entertainment. Romanov is set in stone in his game, running headfirst into takedowns and looking to overpower opponents into submission. Subbing Jared Vanderaa and Roque Martinez doesn’t mean much, but Romanov’s technical split decision over Juan Espino highlights the Moldovan’s skill. Stylistically, Romanov is almost guaranteed to put Sherman on his arse. As seen against the bloated Jake Collier, Sherman will eventually place himself in a dangerous position and receive a mercy submission.

Chase Sherman (15-9)

Although I am glad to see the return of Chase Sherman, The Vanilla Gorilla desperately needed a gimme match to rebuild his confidence. Unsure whether to adopt a high-volume pressure game or a patient counter-punching approach, Sherman often twists himself between the two and gasses himself in the process. Lacking the footwork to keep the distance between himself and Romanov, Sherman is on a one-way trip to the mat with a return to the feet not on the script.

Predicted Result: Romanov TKO Round 2

Romanov is set in stone in his game, running headfirst into takedowns and looking to overpower opponents into submission. Stylistically, Romanov is almost guaranteed to put Sherman on his arse. As seen against the bloated Jake Collier, Sherman will eventually place himself in a dangerous position and receive a mercy submission. Sherman’s non-existent footwork will allow Romanov to close the distance at will.

Result: Romanov def. Sherman // Submission (americana) Round 1 2:11

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Daniel da Silva vs Francisco Figueiredo

Flyweight (125)

Daniel da Silva (11-2)

After a second-round KO loss in his debut, da Silva remains on the roster due to the Brandon Royval level of wild excitement that he offers. Da Silva burns his gas tank early through a delectable array of spinning strikes and jumping attacks. Perhaps, in another life, Da Silva could have been honed into a technically sharp fighter. For now, the Brazilian is a wild ball of explosive energy that will deliver highlight reels one way or another.

Francisco Figueiredo (12-4-1)

The worse Figgy brother simply lacks the power to recreate the successes of Deiveison. The dire one-note pace throughout fights allows opponents to pull ahead late in contests. To fight Deiveison’s style, you need elite power and speed. BTEC Figgy, lacking those athletic attributes, often engages in 50/50 trades which rarely benefit Francisco.

Predicted Result: Da Silva TKO Round 1

To fight Deiveison’s style, you need elite power and speed. BTEC Figgy, lacking those athletic attributes, often engages in 50/50 trades which rarely benefit Francisco. Da Silva burns his gas tank early through a delectable array of spinning strikes and jumping attacks, but he cracks pretty bloody hard.

Result: Figueiredo def. da Silva // Submission (kneebar) Round 1 1:18

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Yohan Lainesse vs Gabe Green

Welterweight (170)

Yohan Lainesse (8-0)

Undefeated Canadian prospect, Yohab Lainesse, enters the UFC on the back of a devastating first-round knockout on the DWCS. A punishing bruiser of a fighter, Lainesse relies on his size to break opponents in the pocket. There is also a surprisingly nice wrestling edge in his back pocket, but the White Lion appears to be increasingly falling in love with his power.

Gabe Green (10-3)

As opposed to Mr Conservative (Arlovski), Gabe Green is Mr Aggression. Pouring insane amounts of volume, Green pieces together long boxing combinations. There is a worry that Green walks into a hard shot early, his chin has been cracked early before. Outside of an early sleeping, Green is the far more proven consistent striking threat.

Predicted Result: Green Decision

This could be a beautiful, bloody war. Pouring insane amounts of volume, Green pieces together long boxing combinations. There is a worry that Green walks into a hard shot early, his chin has been cracked early before. Outside of an early sleeping, however, Green is the far more proven consistent striking threat.

Result: Green def. Lainesse // TKO (punches) Round 2 4:02

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Mike Breeden vs Natan Levy

Lightweight (155)

Mike Breeden (10-4)

Breeden seems to have been drafted in as the fall guy for Natan Levy. To be fair to Breeden, he managed to keep himself standing against Alexander Hernandez. The reality remains, however, that Breeden was iced in under two minutes. Breeden’s deep gas tank is being touted as a massive advantage over a historically short-tanked Levy, but the Israeli is no longer cutting to Featherwe

Natan Levy (6-1)

I really want Natan Levy to become a feature in the UFC roster. An explosive, athletic specimen, Levy combines slick point-fighting karate with solid grappling credentials. His size at Lightweight could be an issue if he continues to opt for a grappling-heavy approach, but his speed at 155lbs should be visibly stark.

Predicted Result: Levy Decision

An explosive, athletic specimen, Levy combines slick point-fighting karate with solid grappling credentials. Breeden’s deep gas tank is being touted as a massive advantage over a historically short-tanked Levy, but the Israeli is no longer cutting to Featherweight. Albeit, Levy’s lesser size at Lightweight could be an issue if he continues to opt for a grappling-heavy approach, but his speed should be visibly stark.

Result: Levy def. Breeden // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Gina Mazany vs Shanna Young

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Gina Mazany (7-5)

Man. Mazany is really clinging on to her UFC career. A second-round TKO to Priscila Cachoeira is the sort of result that really should put the final nails in a fighter’s UFC career. A strong wrestler, Mazany is often let down by her lack of size and comically poor striking defence.

Shanna Young (7-4)

Out-boxed by Macy Chiasson, out-wrestled by Stephanie Egger, Shanna Young has hardly dazzled in her UFC run so far. Athletically and technically limited, Young could well be cut if she cannot find partial success against Mazany. While Mazany is not as competent a wrestler as Egger, the same gameplan will likely punish Young on the mat.

Predicted Result: Mazany Submission Round 1

Athletically and technically limited, Young could well be cut if she cannot find partial success against Mazany. While Mazany is not as competent a wrestler as Egger, the same gameplan will likely punish Young on the mat.

Result: Young def. Mazany // TKO (punches) Round 2 3:11

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Tatsuro Taira vs Carlos Candelario

Flyweight (125)

Tatsuro Taira (10-0)

Undefeated prospect, Tatsuro Taira, will have Dana’s greedy eyes firmly set on cracking the Japanese market. At just twenty-two years old, Taira has already shown a maturity in his game belying his age. Granted, the Japanese MMA scene has produced prospects of wildly varying quality. The main issue that might plague Taira during his time with the UFC is his lack of pace, there isn’t evidence that Taira can handle the UFC Flyweight’s hard pace.

Carlos Candelario (8-1)

DWCS loss or not, Carlos Candelario was still offered a contract off the back of his performance. A gritty scrapper, Candelario delivers mistakes and success in equal measures. The Brazilian certainly has the potential to catch Taira unaware through virtue of balls-to-the-walls explosivity. More likely is that Taira grinds Candelario on the mat off the back of one of the Brazilian’s numerous mistakes.

Predicted Result: Taira Decision

A gritty scrapper, Candelario delivers mistakes and success in equal measures. The Brazilian certainly has the potential to catch Taira unaware through virtue of balls-to-the-walls explosivity. Most likely is that Taira grinds Candelario on the mat off the back of one of the Brazilian’s numerous mistakes.

Result: 🚫 FIGHT CANCELLED (Candelario illness) 🚫

Return to Fight Card


Prediction Accuracy

UFC Vegas 53

Winner: 7/11

Method: 6/11

Round: 5/11

2022 MMA Season

Winner: 118/167

Method: 82/167

Round: 76/167

MMA Overall

Winner: 614/959

Method: 445/959

Round: 401/959

Takeaway comments: If only Font was blessed with a crumb of power.


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