UFC Vegas 53 picksMain Card Picks

Rob Font (-138) vs. Chito Vera(+110)

Chito Vera is the underdog here and perhaps for good reason. Font has shown himself to be an absolute warrior who can be dragged into deep waters and come out ahead. He’s got better wrestling, he’s headlined a five-round main event before and he’s ranked higher. However, Chito Vera has been on a winning streak since shutting down and knocking out the promotion’s biggest rising star, Sean O’Malley in dramatic fashion. Vera fights like he’s got mouths to feed and something to prove and this scrappy, do-or-die approach has worked in his favor. He used it to shut down Frankie Edgar’s wrestling where he was being dominated by Edgar until late in the third round when Vera front kicked him to the face and sent him pummeling to the canvas face down. Vera’s front kicks are dangerous, unpredictable, and constant. Font has faced down his fair share of high-level ranked talent and has overcome. He’s durable, can go 5-rounds, and has strong wrestling and a potent jab. Will it be enough to shut down Chito Vera’s kicks, grit, and determination? We are not counting on it. We’re going with the underdog on this pick. Something in our gut says that Chito wants it more and will edge out Font in taking it or chop him down. Either way, it’s Chito Vera for the win.

Our pick to win: Chito Vera

Andrei Arlovski (-150) vs. Jake Collier (+125)

The 43-year-old veteran, Andrei Arlovski is on a winning streak having won four of his last five outings in the octagon. His career is on its second wind being a seasoned veteran who has fought for almost two decades. Collier has had more of a start-and-stop career initially starting out his UFC tenure in the middleweight division before making the move up to light heavyweight in 2017. Collier had a long layoff of almost three years from 2017-2020 and decided to make the move up to heavyweight upon his return. Andrei is slowing down but he fights to feed his family at this point which makes him dangerous in our book. And while Collier has youth on his side and power in his hands, he has lacked the stability and consistency that the tried and battle-tested Andrei Arlovski maintains. For this reason, we’re going with the favorite, Andrei Arlovski for the win.

Our pick to win: Andrei Arlovski

Andre Fili (-250) vs. Joanderson Brio (+200)

Andre Fili is coming off of a no-contest decision in a fight that he was dominating and looking better than he has ever before. Fili is well-rounded with his boxing and Alpha male wrestling on his side. Joanderson Brito is coming off of his UFC debut loss where he has everything to lose by racking up another one and going 0-2 in his beginning UFC career. That is not a good look for any fighter. God knows it should motivate him to bring the fire but will it be enough to stop the battle-tested, experienced, and durable Fili? We don’t think so. We think Fili is going to pick up exactly where he left off on his last bout and finish it with a win this time. Fili for the win.

Our pick to win: Andre Fili

Jared Gordon (+150) vs. Grant Dawson (-175)

UFC fighter Grant Dawson has a flawless UFC record so far suffering no losses. However, he had a tough time out in his last fight against an unyielding veteran. Despite dominating the early action a tough third round saw the judges rule the bout a draw. Jared Gordon is an experienced guy with some good names on his record. His last loss was handed to him by current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, so you can’t fault the guy for not fighting good competition.

Gordon does some of his best work on the mat. His wrestling is far greater than anyone Dawson has faced in his career, and I think the youngster will have some trouble controlling the fight on the ground, especially if he has cardio issues again and gasses out in the third round like he did in his last fight. Gordan has better striking and his wrestling is levels above anyone Dawson has faced so far. Because of this, it’s Gordon for the win.

Our pick to win: Jared Gordon

Darren Elkins (-175) vs. Tristan Connelly (+150)

This is a wrestler versus wrestler matchup in which one has far better stats and far more experience. Elkins didn’t look good in his last fight, but for a wrestler, Connelly doesn’t get a lot of takedowns going zero for six on takedowns against Pereira, and managed to land one against Sabatini. Elkins is the superior wrestler but he looked sloppy in his last fight.  Elkins never has fights that don’t hit the mat at some point. On the feet, he’s a bull with forward pressure and relentless clinching. He works for that takedown until he gets it. This could be a bad matchup for Tristan who also relies on pressure and volume to win. Here he is just facing someone who is better at it than him. On the feet, this could be anyone’s fight but 25 UFC outings have probably taught Elkins a thing or two more than Connelly. For this reason, Elkins for the win.

Our pick to win: Darren Elkins