LAS VEGAS — The featherweight fight between Rob Font and Marlon “Chito” Vera on Saturday at UFC Vegas 53 is kind of like a political race on Election Day when the polls show both candidates in a dead heat. It’s too close to call.
In situations like that, it’s tempting to go with the underdog, and Vera at +115 at BetMGM is not a bad option to default to. Font is -140, having been bet down a bit from -150.
This is a bout either can win.
I’m going to go with Font and lay the -140 because he’s beaten a slightly higher level of opposition than Vera, though that is debatable as well. Font’s best wins were over Cody Garbrandt, Sergio Pettis, Marlon Moraes, Ricky Simón and Thomas Almeida. Vera’s were over Sean O’Malley, Frankie Edgar and Davey Grant.
Both men lost to José Aldo, but Vera’s loss was controversial and could have easily gone to him. Aldo defeated Font by scores of 50-45 twice and 49-46.
Font, though, fought the better version of Aldo. He was 0-2 at bantamweight against Vera, but was on a roll by the time he met Font and put on his best performance in several years.
Font had his moments, particularly early in the Aldo fight. He had Aldo hurt, but Aldo survived and rallied back each time.
This is probably going to be a fight where the men meet in the middle and exchange strikes. Font has good jiu-jitsu, but he tends to like to use his hands if possible.
I’m going to lay the -140 and play Font to win. I also think this fight goes the distance. Both men have proven they can fight through adversity and keep moving, and Vera has never been finished. Font was submitted by Pedro Munhoz in 2017, but has faced a host of finishers both before and since that fight and hasn’t been finished otherwise.
So I’ll lay the -155 and bet that the fight goes the distance. Won’t go the distance is +110.
Other bets for UFC Vegas 53
I like Gerald Meerschaert as an underdog to defeat Krzysztof Jotko. Jotko is -165 at BetMGM and Meerschaert is +135. Meerschaert has reeled off three wins in a row and looks to have turned the corner. He’s a veteran of 48 fights and is 34-14. Amazingly, he’s finished 32 of his 34 wins and been finished in 11 of his 14 losses. That suggests that this fight won’t go the distance. I don’t think Jotko will even attempt a submission, and Meerschaert’s striking defense is good enough to limit him. Thus, I think this will go the full 15 minutes. BetMGM has won't go the distance at -155, with yes at +110. So I’ll bet yes and take the plus money. I also like Meerschaert to win by decision at +450.
I like Gina Mazany at -185 to win over Shanna Young (+155).
I will take Jared Gordon at +150 to win over Grant Dawson, who is -185.