UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera Predictions
Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera
After a four fight winning streak, Font lost out by unanimous decision to Jose Aldo last time out, leaving him ranked No.5 at bantamweight. His next opponent, Vera also lost out to Aldo back in 2020, but has since earned back-to-back wins to take the No.8 spot.
Font is a very good technical boxer who will offer up high-volume offense behind a quality jab and has the cardio to maintain that pace throughout, as shown in his two previous five-rounders. Font was hurt by Aldo at times, but there’s no shame in that and he showed his toughness and durability to stay in the fight, maintaining his record of having never been stopped by strikes in 24 career fights.
Meanwhile, Vera isn’t quite as smooth and technically proficient as Font, but he’s certainly still very capable of keeping things highly competitive with a more versatile offensive output and dangerous finishing instincts that last deep into the fight – just ask Frankie Edgar who he KO’d with a front kick in the third round last November.
Meanwhile,Vera certainly has the greater ability and carries a bigger submission threat, so while he’s not out of his element on the mat, it’s very likely that Font will be eager to keep this fight standing.
Vera’s not a takedown machine, so this fight could well play out on the feet for the most part and I think Font can win that battle with his slick boxing ability, as Vera is quite hittable, while Font also has the cardio and significantly that five-round experience that his opponent is lacking. As such, I like him to emerge with a decision win here.
Prediction: Rob Font to win by decision – Bet @ Neds
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jake Collier
At 43-years-old Arlovski shows no sign of retiring as he comes in off three wins in a row to accept a fight just a few weeks notice against Collier, who is a full decade younger than him and has been alternating between wins and losses for the entirety of his 10-fight UFC run so far.
Arlovski is a prime example of a veteran who has aged gracefully in terms of his fighting ability, with his skilled boxing on the feet, speed and reliable cardio enabling him to make up for the chin issues that threatened to derail his career many years ago. These days he employs a more careful, calculated strategy that has been an important factor in his longevity, with big knockout finishes essentially being a thing of the past for ‘The Pitbull’, who these days looks to out-volume his opponents while remaining mindful of his defense, rather than overcommitting to strikes that would leave him exposed.
This will be an interesting fight for him since Collier is also an active striker who is light on his feet. Collier is actually a former middleweight who has ballooned up to heavyweight over the years, but has still retained respectable speed and power despite his portly looking physique, while he also carries decent power too.
This fight really could go either way, but Collier was actually actively pursuing this match-up and I think he’ll fancy his chances of being able to match Arlovski’s speed and activity, while showing more willingness than the veteran to commit to his strikes, which will help him edge his way to a competitive decision victory.
Prediction: Jake Collier to win by decision – Bet @ Neds
Andre Fili vs. Joanderson Brito
Fili’s mixed results throughout his UFC run are evident from his last three bouts in which he’s picked up a win, a loss and a draw respectively, while Brito had some hype behind him upon entering the UFC, but lost his debut by unanimous decision against Bill Algeo.
Fili will have a 3″ height and 2″ reach advantage here and that plays well stylistically as he prefers to strike from the outside at a measured pace with solid skill and good composure, to go with a respectable ground game when required.
Brito on the other hand is more of a full-blooded striker who will commit in a big way to his strikes and explodes into takedown attempts too, where if successful he offers up a significant submission threat.
Brito’s higher-octane approach could pay dividends early, but Fili is a seasoned veteran at this stage and I think his more consistent work across the full 15 minutes will lead him to a decision win.
Prediction: Andre Fili to win by decision – Bet @ Neds
Darren Elkins vs. Tristan Connelly
Elkins suffered a spinning wheel kick TKO loss to Cub Swanson last time out after having won two fights prior to that, while Connelly won his UFC debut against Michel Pereira, but has since lost to Pat Sabatini on the scorecards.
Known as ‘The Damage’, Elkins has been known to withstand a lot of that over the years, but while he would often spill a lot of crimson along the way, at 37-years-old also now looks like his chin isn’t what it once was. That’s troubling as he does often rely on his ability to outlast opponents to get the job done, but in Connelly he’s not facing a particularly heavy-handed striker, so it may not be as much of an issue as it was against Swanson.
Connelly is a better technical striker than Elkins though, but it’s hard to not be drawn into the kind of war of attrition that ‘The Damage’ favors and he’ll be looking for any opportunity to get the fight to the mat, where the action could be somewhat competitive, but Elkins will get the better of it with his relentless wrestling ability.
Connelly is an aging veteran who like Elkins has had his ups and downs in the sport, but he doesn’t have the high-level experience that Elkins has acquired from being in the UFC for so many years, and so I’m somewhat reluctantly picking Elkins to edge this one out due to his mat work.
Prediction: Darren Elkins to win by decision – Bet @ Neds
Jared Gordon vs. Grant Dawson
Two in-form fighters here, with Gordon having won three fights in a row, while Dawson did pick up a draw last time out, but had won all five of his previous UFC bouts.
Dawson has a 1″ height and 4″ reach advantage here, but I wouldn’t expect him to make too much use of that in the striking department as that’s not his strongest suit. Instead, Dawson will be looking for takedowns and excels once he’s got the fight on the floor with vicious ground-and-pound and a strong submission threat.
Gordon can wrestle too and may be somewhat tempted to try for that given Dawson’s less-than-stellar takedown defense, but the same can be said of his own defense and it would be a risky move for him to visit the mat too often given Dawson’s superior submission ability.
So, Gordon will likely fancy his chances on the feet instead, where he’s the more skilled and active striker. He’s not heavy-handed though and will instead lean on his very good cardio to try and wear Dawson down over time.
In the end I feel Dawson is the bigger threat here as he’s a big threat on top and should have some success getting Gordon to the mat. A submission or TKO finish via ground-and-pound is certainly possible here, but Gordon has only been stopped once in 19 fights so I’ll settle on a decision verdict.
Prediction: Grant Dawson to win by decision – Bet @ Neds
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Gerald Meerschaert
With four wins from his last five Octagon outings, Jotko now goes up against Meerschaert, who has won three fights in a row via rear-naked choke.
That’s merely the tip of the iceberg compared to Meerschaert’s overall submission record though, which stands at a whopping 26 finishes in that fashion from 34 career victories. With that in mind it’s only natural he’ll be eager to get this fight to the mat and work his impressive BJJ skills.
That’ll be easier said than done though as Jotko is a cautious, calculating striker who will stick to the outside and utilize lots of movement, while carefully picking his moment to step in and strike – albeit without much in the way of power – in order to outpoint his opponents. It’s a rather dull style to watch, but more often than not it is fairly effective and keeps him out of harms way.
Meerschaert can mix things up on the feet and is more potent than his opponent, but I’m not convinced he has the technical ability to track down the always-mobile Jotko to land his strikes, and it’ll make it difficult for him to bring the fight to the floor too. So, though it might not be particularly fun to watch, I see Jotko doing just enough in the striking department from range to emerge with a decision win here.
Prediction: Krzysztof Jotko to win by decision – Bet @ Neds
UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera Prelims
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Daniel Lacerda vs. Francisco Figueiredo
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Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.