LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: (R-L) Marlon Vera of Ecuador punches Rob Font in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
UFC Vegas 53: Marlon Vera defeated Rob Font.
Marlon Vera defeated Rob Font via unanimous decision (48–47, 49–46, 49–46), at UFC Vegas 53 on Saturday, April 30, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV.
“I feel today, something my coach always says. Your mind is finally catching up with your body… When you work hard, you have the most chances to survive,” said an emotional Vera, who celebrated with his family inside the Octagon while getting interviewed by Michael Bisping.
“I’m living the dream. I’m going to be the world champion. I’m bringing the belt to Ecuador. I want (number) four, three, two, and one. I’ll be back in the gym on Wednesday,” said Vera.
The two fighters took their time feeling each other out. Vera opened with kicks, while Font relied on his boxing. Vera landed a kick to the body, while Font attacked with a combination. Font’s powerful hands pushed Vera back. Font landed a strong right and followed it up with an elbow. Vera tried to land calf kicks whenever Font came in. Font landed several powerful uppercuts. Vera continued to land kicks but for every kick he landed, Font landed a flurry of punches. With Vera covering up his head, Font attacked Vera’s body with punches.
Font came out strong to start the second round with a powerful combination. After catching a kick, Font landed another powerful strike. Vera started to be more active, landing several kicks, including a head kick. The two continued to trade in the middle of the Octagon. Vera landed another big head kick as the crowd started to chant his name. Font replied with a left hook and started to back Vera up. Out of nowhere, Vera landed a lead left hook that dropped Font. With seconds remaining in the round, Vera was on top of Font but could not finish the fight.
Vera could not wait to start the third round. Referee Jason Herzog had to repeatedly tell Vera to move back behind the line before the round could start. Vera opened with a takedown attempt that was stuffed. A recovered Font returned to dictate the action with his striking. Vera returned with more kicks. The two fighters continued to stand in the middle of the Octagon and trade. Font started to mix in more kicks into his offense, while Vera continued to find success with his striking. Just like the end of the second round, Vera dropped Font, this time with a flying knee. Vera was able to land more punches but could not put away Front, who was again saved by the bell.
Font came out of his corner aggressively but Vera answered. The two continued to trade in the middle. From the clinch, Font landed a knee to the body but Vera opened up another cut on Font with an elbow. Font continued with his high output of punches. Vera fired right back. Font’s face looked like an absolute mess. For the third time, Vera dropped Font. Vera had just under two minutes to work. Vera failed to take advantage of the favorable positioning as Herzog stood the two fighters up after inactivity.
Font came out of his corner with a powerful body shot. Vera answered with a leg kick. Vera had a very odd reaction after Font landed an elbow. Font was very aggressive to start the round pushing Vera back. Vera landed a powerful counter shot. The two continued to trade shots in the middle of the Octagon. As the round went on, the differences in the two fighters’ faces became more and more obvious. Font’s face was cut, bruised, and swollen. While Vera’s face looked relatively fresh. Font continued to press forward but it didn’t seem to concern Vera, who started taunting with 90 seconds remaining. Vera sent Font stumbling back to the fence after a sidekick to the head. Vera tried to finish the fight but missed two attempts to land a flying knee.
The main event between Font and Vera was changed to a catchweight after Font failed to make weight. By missing weight, Font forfeited 20 percent of his purse to Vera. Both fighters entered the Octagon knowing that they would close in on a future title fight with a victory in the main event.
Font entered Saturday as the bantamweight division’s fifth-ranked fighter. In his last fight, Font had his four-fight winning streak snapped when he was defeated by Jose Aldo. Saturday’s fight was the third straight main event for Font.
Vera started his UFC tenure with a 4-3 record. Over his last 10 fights in the UFC, Vera won eight times, climbing to eighth in the bantamweight rankings. In his last fight, Vera knocked out former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar with a front kick.
UFC Vegas 53: Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera took place on Saturday, April 30, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA who will be onsite for all your news and highlights.