Rob Font and Marlon Vera meet in the headliner of the UFC on ESPN 35 which takes place tonight. The two bantamweight fighters hope to reach a chance to attack the title in this division, but in order to do so, a win here is an absolute must. Both fighters are on the verge of receiving this opportunity, and for many analysts, this is a potential title eliminator.
Rob Font had a masterful four-win streak that saw him beating Sergio Pettis, Ricky Simon, Marlon Moraes and Cody Garbrandt. At that particular moment, he was the top contender for reaching the title fight, but eventually, he lost in a thigh battle against Jose Aldo, via unanimous decision.
If he had a bit more luck and initiative in the crucial moments, Font wouldn’t be here now, sitting in the sixth position in the rankings. If he manages to win tonight, it is pretty possible to see him challenge Aljamain Sterling or at least get a title-eliminator battle with one of the higher placed fighters.
An excellent boxer, with smooth technique, Font has been very efficient from the distance and a KO master. We are free to say that his boxing is the best in the division and that once he gets into the rival, body punches Font inflicts are one-of-a-kind in the bantamweight category. For the moment, there is no debate on whether he is elite or not.
Meanwhile, things aren’t that clear for Marlon Vera, who hasn’t been convincing as Font, and didn’t provide enough consistency throughout his career. He had a few fantastic bouts but never managed to capitalize on them. The way he smashed Sean O’Malley in the first round was astonishing, yet immediately afterward, Vera lost to Aldo via unanimous decision.
He would bounce back after that beating Davey Grant and Frankie Edgar in the most recent fight he had on November 268, knocking out the former champion in the third round with an impressive front kick.
Explosive and creative fighter, the one who waits to burst when least expected, Vera is the guy who is able to turn the tide in the split of a second. We can’t say that he has the skills like Font, but the obvious thing is that he improves with each fight. The 29-year-old is yet to hit his prime, and we are sure that he has the potential to be among the top three bantamweight fighters at some point in his career.
Prediction and Pick
Font missed weight yesterday and he will have to give 20% of his purse to Vera. It is a big blow for him, but on the other side, it might be an advantage because of his striking power. He is a mild favorite according to the bookmakers and, for us, a clear one in tonight’s battle. Why? First of all, he has more experience than Vera, who, even though he has the talent, often makes some mistakes that aren’t allowed at this level of battle. Also, Font is more diverse on the offensive side, and we believe that Vera’s defensive area of the fight is, in fact, his biggest problem. He often allows the fighters to clinch or corner him, and against Font, that might be lethal.
Pick: Font wins 2/3 at BetXchange