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UFC Vegas: Font vs Vera - Apr 30 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Posted (edited)

A week away from our next trip to the Apex in Las Vegas. Might as well just move in at this point.

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Rob Font vs Marlon Vera 

Andrei Arlovski vs Jake Collier 

Andre Fili vs Joanderson Brito 

Jared Gordon vs Grant Dawson 

Darren Elkins vs Tristan Connelly 

Gerald Meerschaert vs Krzysztof Jotko 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Alexandr Romanov vs Chase Sherman

Daniel Da Silva vs Francisco Figueiredo

Gabriel Green vs Yohan Lainesse 

Mike Breeden vs Natan Levy

Gina Mazany vs Shanna Young 

 

Pretty thin undercard as we’ve come to expect from these Apex shows. I like the main event a lot though and there is some stuff worth checking out underneath that if you dig around. Couple of interesting debuts and the return of Gerald Meerschaert! Plus it’s 274 the following week so I’m not gonna moan too much.

 

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Rob Font vs Marlon Vera gets the 5 round headline slot on this one. Really good fight in an ever improving Bantamweight division. Although it’s kind of odd timing with Font coming off a loss and Vera coming off a couple of wins and a highlight reel KO in his last fight. I’m not gonna complain though. I really like this pairing.

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So yeah, Font lost his last fight in December against the legendary Jose Aldo. He didn’t embarrass himself, obviously there’s no shame in losing to Aldo in any fashion, but he lost quite clearly on points. Before that though, he’d been on a nice little streak of wins beating Cody Garbrandt, Marlon Moraes, Ricky Simon and Sergio Pettis. I remember fancying him to beat Aldo as well, which sounds crazy now we’ve all seen how the fight played out but he’s good enough to where it really didn’t feel like a wild prediction going in. He’s got some really nice boxing with mostly straight punches and he can mix it up with knees and kicks as well. He’s got skills. He’s just missing something that the elite of the division has. That was evident in the Aldo fight. There was a little bit more of a gap between them than I think most anticipated. This is a decent opportunity for him to rebound though. Fighting another fringe contender in a main event.

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Vera’s a bit of a nut but he’s shown he’s got the goods up to a certain level. Like Font, I don’t think he’s got quite what it takes to have success at the very top of the division but he’s one of those guys who’ll pretty much make for an entertaining scrap with anyone. He’s 18-7-1 now but if you look back over the more recent part of his record, he’s 8-2 in his last 10 with the 2 losses being decisions against Aldo (him again) and Song Yadong. And I remember the Yadong decision being quite hotly disputed at the time. Can’t remember it enough to agree or disagree but all I do remember of it was that it was a hell of a fight. Aside from that, Vera was the first, and only man to date, to hand Sean O’Malley a loss, he beat Davey Grant in another FOTN corker last June and then in his last fight in November he did this…

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Poor Frankie Edgar. Easily the biggest name win of Chito’s career but Frankie’s looked done for some time now. Still, can’t take away from Vera’s performance itself. This fight with Font should be bags of fun though. Looking at how you’d think they match up, it’s most likely gonna play out on the feet. Font should have the edge in technical striking but if Vera can drag him into a brawl then who knows what happens. I’m a fan of both bell-to-bell but I’d like to see Font win myself, just because Vera seems a bit of a dickhead. And I think we’ll see throughout fight week that a lot of people will count Font out because he’s coming off a L and Vera’s been winning. You know how that goes, MMA fans always seem to base everything off whether you won or lost your last fight. But I could definitely see Font just outboxing Vera here. Pretty 50/50 on it, to be honest, but I’m looking forward to it.

 

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Andrei Arlovski vs Jake Collier is currently slated to co-main. Christ. Arlovski yeah, he’s earned the position and he’s a big enough name in the sport to be at the top end of a card. But Jake Collier in a co-main event. Jesus wept. Anyway, Arlovski should be comfortably winning this so it won’t matter in the end.

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This’ll be his 56th MMA fight and he’s 43 years old now. And guess what? He’s on a 3 fight winning streak and has won 5 of his last 6. OK yeah, they haven’t been much good to watch. They’ve nearly all been plodding decision wins. But I love that he’s so liked and respected that nobody really gives him shit for it. He was exciting enough early in his career, let him do his thing now and just get paid. And in fairness, while him tweaking his style might’ve made his fights much less watchable, it’s been way better for him. He was getting knocked out so much years ago that it was getting uncomfortable watching him. We were pretty much at the point with Arlovski back then that we’ve all reached with Bigfoot Silva now. Just hoping someone close to him would talk him into retirement. But he’s changed things up and he doesn’t get stopped nearly as much now and when he does it’s usually against the top guys. It’s still a bit worrying him fighting so long and while he doesn’t appear to be taking as much damage in his fights these days, people forget about the knocks you take in training camp. He’s put a ton of miles on himself. Hopefully he’ll walk away fairly soon and relatively healthy. But anyway, he should be beating Collier without too much hassle. Even 2022 Arlovski should be leagues above this shitehawk. Although Collier is coming off a big submission win over…Chase Sherman, he’s looked rotten just about every single other time I’ve seen him.

 

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Andre Fili vs Joanderson Brito. Might be alright. I’ve always been lukewarm on Fili. Even back when he first came in years ago with the hype of being Team Alpha Male’s next big prospect, I just never really saw it. He’s had his moments and at times in certain fights he’s shown flashes of maybe being everything Urijah Faber cracked him up to be. But he’s just been a bit too hot and cold. I suspect he’s one of those fighters who really shines and looks like a beast in the gym but it doesn’t quite translate under the bright lights for whatever reason. He’s 21-8-0-1 now, with the No Contest coming in his last fight against Daniel Pineda due to an eye poke. And funnily enough, I remember watching that fight and thinking Fili was having the cleanest and smoothest performance of his UFC career before he accidentally poked Pineda in the eye. Typical of his inconsistency. Barely remember Brito. He’s 12-3-1 now and Chute Boxe affiliated. Made his UFC debut in January on the Kattar vs Chikadze undercard, dropping a decision to Bill Algeo.

 

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Jared Gordon vs Grant Dawson. Not too bothered but it might be OK. Gordon’s 18-4 and on a decent little 3 fight streak. He’s one of those fighters though, where nothing really sticks in the memory. He does nothing outstanding or remarkable. He’s been in the UFC since 2017, has fought 9 times in the promotion, I’ve probably seen at least 6 or 7 of those fights and the only thing I remember is him getting knocked out by Charles Oliveira a few years back. Dawson I recall a little bit better. He’s 17-1-1 and has had some solid wins over Julian Erosa, Mike Trizano and Darrick Minner on undercards over the last few years. Good grappler from what I remember. His standout win for me though, was his vicious ground and pound KO against Leonardo Santos last year.

 

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Darren Elkins vs Tristan Connelly. Not bad. Always had a soft spot for Elkins ever since the barmy get pulled off that mental comeback knockout against Mirsad Bektic a few years ago. If you never saw that it’s well worth firing up the old Fight Pass for. Got to be in the conversation as far as maddest comebacks in UFC history go. Such a granite tough bastard. The hideous tattoo on his chest reads ‘THE DAMAGE’, which is his nickname. Usually a fighter nicknamed ‘The Damage’ would be referring to the damage they’re going to inflict on their opponents. But this fucker must’ve meant his own damage.

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I believe he walked into a cobweb and it did that. Seriously, his face falls off near enough every fight. Ric Flair in the mid 80s shit. Minus the flashing his cock to flight attendants, I hope. He’s got to be winding down now. He’s 37 years old, 26-10 and 2-5 in his last 7. Got stopped by Cub Swanson in about 2 minutes last time out in December. Connelly is mostly, and probably only really remembered for that time he stepped in on short notice and derailed the hype train of Michel Pereira. I remember that being such a fun fight and Connelly would’ve probably got another biggish fight after that win but he was inactive for about 18 months following that fight so any momentum he had coming off it had fizzled. He came back last April and lost a decision to Pat Sabatini. And he’s been out another year since. Not ideal.

 

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Gerald Meerschaert vs Krzysztof Jotko is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** and it shouldn’t be a mystery why. It’s got nothing to do with Jotko. He’s mostly bored me from what I remember of him. It’s all about good ol’ GM. The bloodhound. Forum favourite Gez.

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I won’t post that horrid gif again but it’s been lovely seeing how he’s bounced back from that disastrous 17 seconds against Khamzat Chimaev in 2020. He’s since rattled off 3 straight submission wins over Bartosz Fabinski, Makhmud Muradov and Dustin Stoltzfus. The Muradov win being especially impressive. I really thought Meerschaert was in for a bad night there and he took everything Muradov could dish out and rallied back to strangle him in the second round. Probably the best win of his UFC career to date. He got POTN bonuses for 2 of those wins as well, which will have came in handy because he also became a Dad last year. This’ll be his 49th MMA fight and he’s 34 now. I don’t see him ever having enough to mix at the top level in the UFC’s 185 division but I’d love to see him put a bit of a run together. He can’t have a that many fights left in him so at the very least it’d be nice to see him bag a bunch of POTN bonuses before it’s all over. This might be a tough one to get a bonus in though, Jotko isn’t a bad fighter at all but he’s just so dull and generic. He’s basically the original Create-A-Fighter template you start with on any MMA video game come to life. He’s been knocking around the UFC’s undercards since 2013 now. 2013. 9 bloody years. And all I remember is that he occasionally does a Spinaroonie after he wins. That’s it. He’s basically the male, Polish version of Katlyn Chookagian. So unless Gerald can get another sweet submission, he’s gonna struggle to drag a bonus out of this dullard.

 

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Alexandr Romanov vs Chase Sherman. OK right fuck about getting to this. Not the original plan. Tanner Boser was set to fight Romanov on the Lemos vs Andrade card but dropped out. Sherman stepped in but then pulled out on the day of the show. Now it’s back on, just delayed a week. It’ll be worth a look for Romanov. He was the pull for me when Boser was the opponent anyway so nothing really changes. Of all the shite we’ve had come through the doors of the HW division over the years, there hasn’t been a whole lot of new blood to get excited about but I quite like what we’ve seen of Romanov so far. Really good grappler, loves a suplex and he’s undefeated at 15-0 with 14 inside the distance. He’s beat nobody of note yet. His UFC run so far has consisted of Roque Martinez, Marcos Rogerio De Lima, Juan Espino and Jared Vanderaa. Hardly a Goldberg 98 run. But he’s stacking up the wins and I like him. How can you not like a big fat bloke suplexing sods about and strangling them? And he’s not even that fat now.

Before/after…

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He was already looking fairly promising, now he’s clearly putting the work in to get in better shape he might be a real problem. Sherman’s getting ragdolled here. He only got sacked recently after a 3 fight losing streak. His last fight was on the Kattar vs Chikadze card in January and he got submitted in a couple of minutes by fucking Jake Collier. They literally just announced he was binned and now he’s back. Romanov should crush him. If fatty Collier made short work of him, Romanov shouldn’t have much trouble with him. I actually quite like Sherman. He seems an OK guy and I loved his brawl with Ike Villanueva a couple of years back. But if you’re getting squashed by Jake Collier, it’s not looking good.

 

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Daniel Da Silva vs Francisco Figueiredo. Flyweight action. Might be a good one this. I’ve only seen Da Silva once and it was him getting stopped by Jeff Molina in his UFC debut in October. But I rate Molina and I recall Da Silva giving him some issues early on. He’s 11-2 overall with all 11 wins coming inside the distance, so he doesn’t fuck about. And Figgy #2 is the younger brother of current Flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo. He’s fought twice in the UFC, winning a decision against Jerome Rivera, then losing a decision against Malcolm Gordon. He’s 12-4-1-1 and I don’t remember being blown away by him, to be honest. Nowhere near as exciting as his not so big bro but maybe he just hasn’t had the right dance partner yet. I think Da Silva might just have the style to bring that out of him.

 

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Gabriel Green vs Yohan Lainesse. Not a clue on this one. I’m very hazy on Green, he’s 10-3 with 9 finishes. Lost to Daniel Rodriguez in his first Octagon appearance, which I think is the only time I saw him. He rebounded with a points win over Phil Rowe last February. Never heard of Lainesse before. Just Sherdogged him now and he’s undefeated at 8-0 with 6 knockouts and coming off a quick KO win on DWCS in November. Hasn’t beat any names you’d recognise yet but it’s not a bad start, is it? Might be a solid fight, to be fair. They both sound like they go for the kill and there’s always a little bit of intrigue when an unbeaten fighter comes in. It’s just my own unfamiliarity with both why I’m not exactly invested in it.

 

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Mike Breeden vs Natan Levy. Again, not seen enough of either to give much of a shite but we’ll see how it goes. Breeden’s 10-4 with 8 by knockout or TKO. Got absolutely blitzed by Alexander Hernandez in his UFC debut in about a minute so not ideal. That’s all I’ve seen of him. Levy’s 6-1, predominantly from a striking background but oddly his 3 finishes so far have all come via submission. He came in undefeated off a sub on DWCS but suffered his first defeat, losing his UFC debut to Rafa Garcia in November.

 

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Gina Mazany vs Shanna Young is ***WAND’S ONE TO SKIP*** here. Complete nothing fight. Seen enough of both to know they’re going nowhere. Well, except back to the regional circuit soon. Mazany is 7-5, has been stopped in 4 of those 5 losses and just caught a proper battering off Priscila Cachoeira in her last fight. Young is 7-4 and comes in off back-to-back losses and got put away by Stephanie Egger last time out. It sounds harsh and nothing against them personally but this kind of shite has no place on a UFC card in 2022. It just doesn’t. I’m well aware the Fight Nights are a different thing and they’re highlighting lower ranked fighters and newcomers but these are neither exciting to watch or prospects of any kind. They’re here solely because the UFC have so many cards these days that they have slots to fill. That and they’ll be paying them peanuts. Loser here most likely gets released, the winner will get another go but it’s all delaying the inevitable. They’ll probably both be on BKFC cards by this time next year.


And that’s that. I’m not gonna pretend it’s some incredible card but there’s bits and bobs on there worth your time and it’s not as bad a card as social media is gonna have you believe in the coming days. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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He even liked it on Twitter and gave a few roll laugh face emojis...which was really nice of him. His acknowledgement cheered me up to the point that when I went home from work that evening, I could gladly withstand the awful, vile scene of my missus slurping through a bowl of chicken soup with the spoon clacking against her teeth with each inhale noise and slurp, which is normally the ultimate endurance test for my pots and my sanity. 

Good ol' Ger. What a wonderfully, lovely, dote of a beast of a man. 

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22 hours ago, Scott Malbranque said:

He even liked it on Twitter and gave a few roll laugh face emojis...which was really nice of him. His acknowledgement cheered me up to the point that when I went home from work that evening, I could gladly withstand the awful, vile scene of my missus slurping through a bowl of chicken soup with the spoon clacking against her teeth with each inhale noise and slurp, which is normally the ultimate endurance test for my pots and my sanity. 

Good ol' Ger. What a wonderfully, lovely, dote of a beast of a man. 

That's brilliant 😂 

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I don't mind this card at all. It is a hell of a lot stronger than last weeks showing which is evident in the fact the cancelled co main event from last week only makes it on the prelims this week.

I have done a complete 180 on how I feel about Chito Vera. I used to dislike him as he seemed a bit nuts in the head but after listening to him on the Theo Von podcast and the Joe Rogan podcast, he actually comes across pretty chilled and a decent guy. He loves the sport of MMA which is always nice to see.

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He flipped the middle finger at Frankie Edgar though. Then toe-poked his head off. I can’t let that disrespect go.

Got to admit though, as dickheaded as it is, this did make me chuckle for the sheer petty twattiness of it…

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