Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera Odds Prediction: Bet the Total in Main Event (April 30)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured (L-R): UFC opponents Rob Font and Marlon Vera.
- The main event of UFC Fight Night features two exciting bantamweights: Rob Font and Marlon Vera.
- Sean Zerillo sees a bit of value on the fight going the distance and a potential live-betting opportunity.
- Read on for Sean Zerillo's full breakdown and top bet for the UFC main event.
Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera Odds
A future Bantamweight title challenger could emerge from Saturday’s main event between No. 5 contender Rob Font and No. 8 ranked Marlon “Chito” Vera.
Font is making his third-consecutive main event appearance, including a win over Cody Garbrandt and a loss to the legendary Jose Aldo — both of which went the full 25 minutes.
Chito is making his first main event appearance but has the fighting style that should translate well to a more prolonged bout, and MMA fans have been clamoring to see him in a five-round fight.
Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s matchup and utilize those factors to bet on the main event.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||11:33||11:11|
|Weight (pounds)||138.5 lbs.||136 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/25/87||12/2/92|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.64||4.08|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.55||4.27|
|Take Down Avg.||1.10||0.82|
Font missed weight by 2.5 pounds on Friday, and the bout will take place at a catchweight, but it doesn’t necessarily affect my fight analysis to a significant degree.
Against Jose Aldo, Font lost all but one round on a single scorecard, despite landing more strikes in every round. Throughout the fight, he out-landed Aldo 149-86 on significant strikes (and 193-96 on total strikes) and seemingly won the vast majority of minutes.
Still, Aldo had the most significant moments in each round, and after he hurt Font late in Round 1, Font seemingly never recovered. After that, each subsequent power shot had a noticeable effect on Font — and the apparent power differential swung every round in favor of the Brazilian.
While Font is an excellent technical boxer, who fights behind a crisp jab, he doesn’t carry a ton of power for the 135-pound division. He couldn’t keep Aldo off of him — once Aldo decided to walk through his punches — and I suspect that Vera will find similar success.
However, Chito is an extremely slow starter. He tends to give away the first round in most of his bouts, which is a big problem in a three-round fight. And while it’s less of an issue in a five-round fight, he does need to pick up the pace in Round 2; because Font has proven that he can sustain a solid pace for 25 minutes in consecutive bouts.
Vera builds as his fights go, but we still haven’t seen him in a 25-minute encounter. It’s possible that he builds for Rounds 2 and 3 and can continue into Round 4 but will taper off in new territory in the latter part of the championship rounds, which are still unfamiliar territory.
There’s a suspicion that Vera’s style will translate better to a 25-minute fight since he is typically a slow starter. Still, there’s no guarantee that he will step on the gas at the right moment — or that he’ll sustain for 20 minutes — and if he decides to wait until Round 3 before building, you don’t want to have a small underdog ticket when you’re clearly down two rounds.
Instead of betting Vera pre-fight, I’ll look to target him Live after Round 1 or Round 2. Once he feels Font’s power, makes his reads, and starts to adjust, Vera will become a far more dangerous fighter and begin to walk through shots and unleash his aggression.
Like Aldo, I expect Vera to have far superior power optics to Font, and even if he’s losing on volume, he can likely steal rounds with more significant moments.
Font does well to mix up his boxing to both the body and head, but Vera has an even more diverse attack, sending kicks to all three levels, with an array of elbows and knees once he’s inside his opponent’s range.
Grappling could be the difference-maker in the matchup. Both men have proven susceptible to takedowns, and if either gets a bit too comfortable on the feet, I hope the other tries to mix in a takedown to keep them honest.
Of the two, I prefer Chito’s offensive grappling. His transitions are smoother, and his ground and pound is far more damaging. If he manages to get on top of Font, he could secure a 10-8 round or potentially find a finish; whereas Font may try to prioritize control.
In the grappling metrics, Vera has superior takedown offense (+6%) and defense (+14%), but Font has the edge in striking efficiency (+2.09 to -0.29) and defense (9%). Chito is very hittable and happy to engage in a brawl, but he also seems like the more durable fighter.
However, both fighters appear to be exceedingly tough to put away, with one combined finish loss on their career records. I give Vera more finishing upside (50% of his won condition) than Font (25%), but I expect Font to win a decision unless Vera can land a couple of knockdowns/wobbles to steal rounds.
Font vs. Vera Pick
I projected Rob Font as a 53.3% favorite in this fight, and I show slight value on the Chito side (projected 46.7% or +114 implied) of the moneyline.
However, I would prefer something closer to his opening odds (+125 to +130) to bet the Vera moneyline at something more than a two percent edge.
Moreover, I would rather wait to live bet Chito after Round 1 and/or Round 2 because he consistently starts slow in his fights and tends to give away the first round.
I prefer to bet the Over 4.5 rounds or the Fight to Go the Distance (projected 63% or -173 implied) compared to the betting market. At a three percentage point edge, you can play that line up to -150 (60% implied), and I found odds of -138 (58% implied) at WynnBet.
While you can find a fair number on Font’s decision prop (projected +150, listed +170 at Rivers), I suspect that Vera might be able to take over down the stretch and could potentially steal the final three rounds; even if he doesn’t find a finish.
The Pick: Fight Goes The Distance (-138)
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