MMA Labology Breakdown: Vera vs. Fant


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Marlon Vera vs. Rob Font

This is a really underrated fight. Stylistically, it is very intriguing. Marlon Vera and Rob Font share many similarities in so many ways, but yet approach them with different paths. So many people pigeonhole into the “grappler vs. striker,” “striker vs. striker,” “grappler vs. grappler” mindset that they fail to look into the finer details of the fight, and the blueprints fighters utilize to get there.

Both of these combatants are in striking range of prime alignment with a win here. Vera is in a little better spot considering he is on a two-fight win streak and Font just dropped one to Jose Aldo. That said, while Vera is moving in the right direction for a mighty good argument into title contention, Font can right the ship and get back into the conversation very quickly with a win here.


Font breakdown

Rob Font is an extremely clean boxer with fluid combinations, good footwork and creativity in his movements, yet he keeps things very fundamentally sound without straying from the room of technique. With an 18-5 record, Font has eight wins by KO, four by way of submission. Font has only lost one fight inside the distance by way of submission back in 2017 against Pedro Munhoz, when he was caught in Munhoz’ signature guillotine in the first round. Font has shown clear durability throughout his career — there is no doubt that I have seen him on skates a few times, but in the grand scheme of it all, Font is very durable.

It doesn’t end there for Font either. The brown belt in BJJ is very well equipped if things hit the sandbox. Even though Font has only one submission under the UFC umbrella, he is very capable there if need be. The one issue I have seen with Font is his inability to keep things upright if his opposition decides to commit to taking it to the ground. With a 55% TDD, Font has been taken down three times by Cody Garbrandt, twice by Marlon Moraes and six times by Ricky Simon in the three fights before his loss to Aldo.

Even though his TDD is lacking a bit, he has an innate ability to find his way back to his feet once his ass hits the mat. So to say that Rob Font is not a well-rounded fighter would be an extremely poor take on anyone’s part. He has holes that can be exposed, but for the most part, Font is a very good fighter.

Vera breakdown

Font takes on the underappreciated and now surging fighter in Marlon Vera. The knock on Vera by many is really just not justifiable. His trend to start slow does not make him a bad fighter. Can it hinder him in fights that are close? Absolutely. Would I love to see Vera get started out of the gate? Yes. However, at the end of the day, the guy has all the tools to make him a very good fighter. With a record of 18-7, with 7 KOS and 8 submissions to his credit. In his 7 losses, Vera has never been finished. Outside of two blemishes to Jose Aldo and Song Yadong, Vera has won eight of his last 10 fights.

The one fight that seemed to be controversial was his fight against Sean O’Malley. Was it unfortunate that he won that fight due to an injury stoppage? Sure. However, what people aren’t understanding is the ability to read that O’Malley was compromised and move in cautiously yet effectively to finish the fight.

Vera is a very well-rounded fighter with a complete game. The black belt in BJJ not only has a crisp and smooth game on the ground, but his striking is a very good balance of striking using all four limbs. Good boxing and pesky front kicks will keep you at bay until he is ready to engage with you. While keeping you honest, Vera will take his time to make his reads. Usually at the tail end of Round 1 historically is when Vera really starts to show the offensive decisions he will utilize off the looks you are giving him. In a three-round fight you can be playing with fire with an approach like this, but in a five-round fight, it gives him plenty of time to work if he uses this approach that he tends to use by nature. With very good cardio, Vera slowing down is not likely and that is what makes this fight so intriguing to me. 


Fight analysis

Both men have very similar styles from a fundamental standpoint. There’s nothing flashy in either of their games. Their games are very straightforward and to the point. I would say that Font is the sharper and snappier one with his hands, and probably has the hand speed advantage here out of the gates. However, once Vera makes his adjustments, he tends to get stronger as the fight goes on.

So you need to ask yourself if Font can maintain the same success he will have early in the fight while Vera is figuring things out. And if he doesn’t, will he be able to make the adjustments to get back into rhythm. Considering fighting Vera is more of a marathon due to his tested durability, I have to lean slightly his way here when they enter the most important part of this fight, which is the deeper rounds. I feel like Font will be the one needing to make the adjustments later while Vera starts hitting a stride.

Also, given the grappling ability will be in favor of Vera and the less than solid TDD of Font, you would think that Vera would try to tie that into his game to hesitate and freeze Font a bit from throwing so openly and loosely. Very tight fight here, but I’m going with the dog. Vera to win the marathon in a close decision. 

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The Pick

Vera by decision


Over 4.5 rounds, -160

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