A bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Rob Font headlined UFC Vegas 53. As expected, this fight stole the show. Let’s talk about all of the fights from this card.
We knew this was good matchmaking when the fight was made, but Marlon Vera and Rob Font exceeded expectations for their fight at UFC Vegas 53. This was Marlon Vera’s first 5 round fight and he showed that he gets better as the fight progresses. After losing the 1st round, Vera found his rhythm and hurt Font at the end of every remaining round. Vera showed great improvements with his kicks as he hurt Font on several occasions with knees, sidekicks, and head kicks. Though he was hurt, Font pushed the action and never wavered. With this win, Marlon Vera has put himself in a prime position for a big fight next in the Bantamweight division.
Andrei Arlovski made history as he tied Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone for the most wins in UFC history by defeating Jake Collier. However, that win came with some controversy as many believed that Collier won the fight. Every round of the fight was competitive, as each round on the Verdict Scorecard had a differential of less than 0.46. What was most surprising was the official decision itself. Judges Doug Crosby and Sal D’Amato scored the fight 29-28 for Andrei Arlovski while judge Michael Bell scored the fight 30-27 for Jake Collier. Any time one judge scores every round for a fighter and that fighter loses a decision, expect controversy to follow.
Going into this card, Andre Fili was the biggest favorite with 88% of the Verdict Community predicting him to defeat Joanderson Brito. It seemed like this would be a guaranteed win for Fili based on the predictions. Joanderson Brito proved a lot of people wrong as he finished Fili by knockout in just 41 seconds. This was the first time since his fight against Yair Rodriguez that Andre Fili had been finished by knockout.
As he said in his post-fight speech, Grant Dawson hasn’t lost a fight since Barack Obama was the US President. Dawson defeated Jared Gordon and is now unbeaten in his last 10 fights dating back to July of 2016. 4 out of his 7 wins in the Octagon have come by stoppage. Jared Gordon has been fighting as a professional since 2011 and this was the first time in his career that he's lost a fight by submission.
It was a clear win for Darren Elkins who won every round on every judge’s scorecard against Tristan Connelly. Elkins has been competing inside the Octagon for over 12 years and is still winning fights. He handed Connelly his second consecutive loss inside the Octagon. Connelly’s lone win in the UFC came against Michel Pereira.
After suffering a 17-second knockout loss against Khamzat Chimaev, Gerald Meerschaert went on a streak where he finished 3 consecutive fights by submission. This winning streak was snapped as Jotko as he defeated him by unanimous decision. Jotko was an underdog heading into the fight with only 39% predicting him to defeat Meerschaert.