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UFC Vegas 53 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Font vs Vera

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 11 mins

UFC Vegas 53 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Font vs Vera

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The UFC returns this Saturday night with another fun event when UFC Vegas 53 goes down at the Apex in Las Vegas. The card features 12 fights in total, including an exciting bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Marlon Vera in the main event.

I’m eyeing a few plays for this card, so keep reading and find out what the UFC best bets are for UFC Vegas 53.

Rob Font | -130 Marlon Vera | +110

Odds via DraftKings sportsbook and current as of publication. Check out our latest DraftKings promo codes.

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Rob Font (-130) vs. Marlon Vera (+110)

The main event of UFC Vegas 53 sees Rob Font and Marlon Vera go at it for five rounds (or less) in an important bantamweight bout between top-10 contenders. Font is a -130 favorite, while Vera is a +110 underdog at betting sites. This should be a competitive fight, but I am going with Font to get the job done as a short favorite.

There are a few things that are really standing out for me and making me lean towards Font. For one, Font has just gone five rounds in his last two fights. He beat former champ Cody Garbrandt in one of those fights and then lost to the legendary Jose Aldo in the other.

Going five rounds is something Vera has never done in his career. I know Vera has good cardio, but so does Font, and Font has proven to me that he has fought at a high level for 25 minutes.

Second, the numbers show that Font lands more significant strikes per minute (5.64 to 4.18), and he also gets hit at a lower clip (3.55 to 4.27).

UFC Vegas 53 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Font vs Vera 2

MMA analytics can be useful for fighters who have a large body of work, and both Font and Vera have large sample sizes to work with (13 UFC fights for Font, 18 MMA fights for Vera). In a standup fight, Font should have the edge in both volume and striking defense. He also has a one-inch reach advantage.

Of course, there are some knocks on Font. For one, he was dropped twice against Aldo, so he could be showing a decline in his chin strength. Font is also the older fighter here, at age 34 compared to 29 for Vera. As well, Font is coming off of a loss while Vera has won his last two fights.

Vera has looked solid lately, beating Frankie Edgar and Davey Grant in his last two fights. In both fights, he was able to outstrike his opponents. I’m a big fan of Vera, but to me, he gets into too many wars, and that could end up costing him against a tactician like Font.

I have to go with Font to win this fight. He throws more, he gets hit less, and in a fight where takedowns seem unlikely (both guys are averaging about just one takedown per 15 minutes), I’ll take the guy who has shown me he can go five hard rounds with the elite of 135lbs. Give me Font as the pick here to win at -130, and you can also consider Font by decision at +165.

The Pick: Rob Font at -130 with DraftKings

Alternative Pick: Rob Font by decision +165 with DraftKings

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Other UFC Vegas 53 Best Bets

Gabe Green (-135) vs. Yohan Lainesse (+115)

On the preliminary card is an exciting welterweight bout between Gabe Green and Yohan Lainesse. I think this could be a banger of a fight for as long as it lasts, so don’t miss this one. Green is favored at -135, while Lainesse is the dog at +115. I’m going to go with the Canadian here to get the upset win as I think Lainesse can win this fight, and potentially by knockout.

Lainesse is new to the UFC as this will be his debut, but he’s coming off of a brutal KO win on Dana White’s Contender Series, so he’s fought at the UFC Apex before.

Lainesse is a perfect 8-0 in MMA, including six wins by knockout. Before coming to the UFC, he was the welterweight champion in CFFC, which has been an excellent producer of MMA talent in the UFC for years. Lainesse is a knockout artist and he showed that on the Contender Series.

I did more of a deep dive into Lainesse because I wanted to see his other fights, and the one thing I noticed is that he’s also a very good wrestler and he will initiate grappling. I like the fact that he mixes in his takedowns with his striking.

One thing I will say is that his cardio isn’t the best as he tends to slow down during the third round. I’m guessing that is why Green is favored here, plus Green has more experience fighting in the UFC, so I understand the line.

While I like Green as a fighter as he will stand and trade with the best of them, I think his striking defense isn’t the greatest. He is very hittable and that could prove to come into play against a power puncher like Lainesse.

Although Green’s chin has held up in the UFC so far, he was knocked out earlier in his career. Overall Green is a good fighter with solid cardio and a fun volume striking style, but I think he is too hittable on the feet, and he can be taken down.

I’m going with Lainesse to get the job done as the underdog here. I think he can get the knockout, but if not, I think he could win the majority of the grappling exchanges and grind out a decision potentially too. Give me Lainesse at +115 and check out Lainesse by TKO at betting apps.

The Pick: Yohan Lainesse at +115 with DraftKings

Alternative Pick: Yohan Lainesse by TKO +200 with DraftKings

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Krzysztof Jotko (-165) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+145)

Also on the card is a middleweight bout between Krzysztof Jotko and Gerald Meerschaert. Jotko is a -165 favorite while Meerschaert is a +145 underdog, and I’m going to take a shot on the underdog Meerschaert getting the upset win.

At this point, I’m done picking against Meerschaert. The man owns the record for the most submission wins in UFC middleweight history with eight tapout wins inside the Octagon. He is riding a three-fight win streak with submission wins in all three of those fights. That includes an upset submission win over Makmud Muradov last year where Meerschaert was a +500 underdog.

Historically, Meerschaert has been a pretty good underdog bet in the UFC. He won as an underdog against Muradov, Deron Winn, Trevin Giles, and Oskar Piechota, and I think he can do the same to Jotko. All Meerschaert needs is that one opportunity to take your neck. He is incredibly opportunistic and he can win a fight he is losing just by making one quick move.

UFC Vegas 53 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Font vs Vera 1

Jotko is a really solid fighter, and he’s been someone who has been a reliable bet for me over the years just because he has really solid fundamentals. He has good takedown defense, solid wrestling, and he has a point-fighting style that has allowed him to win a lot of decisions in the UFC.

But historically, the kind of guys who finish Meerschaert are knockout artists, and I’m not sure Jotko’s that guy who will put Meerschaert away. If this turns into a gritty dogfight, I’m feeling better about Meerschaert in terms of his durability.

For my UFC betting, I’m going to take a shot on Meerscaert here as a dog at +145, and given that he finishes basically all of his wins, you could go with him winning inside the distance at better odds.

The Pick: Gerald Meerschaert at +145 with DraftKings

Alternative Pick: Gerald Meerschaert wins inside the distance +250 with Caesars

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About the Author

Adam Martin for Bookies.com
Adam Martin
A writer based out of Toronto, Adam Martin has covered professional sports, with an emphasis on sports gambling, for more than a decade, writing for such outlets as The Toronto Star and Sportsnet. He is an expert in UFC, while also covering NHL betting and the Stanley Cup.