UFC on ESPN 35 – April 30, 2022: Marlon Vera vs Rob Font

Fight Study (4/30/22)

The bantamweight division falls under the spotlight when the 8th ranked contender, Marlon Vera, faces the 5th ranked contender, Rob Font, from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. This fight is evenly matched with Font being the slight favorite with the oddsmakers. He is also the more expensive DFS play, and those looking to roster him may do so for $8,300 on DraftKings and $20 on Fanduel. Vera is available for $7,900 and $16 respectively. As the Main Event, this fight is scheduled for 5 rounds of MMA action, and current betting lines make this fight a -165 favorite to go the full 25 minutes inside the octagon.

Vera has a professional record of 18-7-1 with 7 wins by KO/TKO, 8 wins by submission, and 3 wins by decision. Over the last 4 years, Vera is 8-2 with his only losses coming via Jose Aldo and Song Yadong. Those losses both came by decision. In fact, Vera has never been finished in his career, with all 7 of his losses coming by way of the judges’ scorecards. Vera is only 3-7 in decisions, but he has shown little need of the judges to earn victories. Over his last 10 wins, 9 have come inside the distance. In victory, he is averaging 96.8 FPPF (DraftKings scoring) since the start of 2018. In his 3 losses during that same span, he is averaging 39.8 FPPF. Because he has never been finished, he has a good scoring floor as well as the ability to score finishes later in fights. Of his 15 career finishes, 8 have come beyond the first round with 5 second-round finishes and 3 third-round finishes.

Font has a career record of 19-5 with 8 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission, and 7 wins by decision. Prior to losing his latest fight to Jose Aldo in December of last year, he had been on a 4-fight win streak. Over his last 10 fights, he is 7-3 with 4 finishes over that span. In victories over that span, he is averaging 107.8 FPPF (DraftKings scoring). In losses, he is averaging 32.5 FPPF over that same span. He is a high-volume striker who is averaging 63.3 significant strikes thrown per round – making him 4th overall in that statistic amongst all of Saturday’s fighters. He is 3rd overall in strikes landed per round at 28.2 significant strikes per round. This gives him good potential at scoring over a 5-round fight. He has gone 5 full rounds in his last two fights, and in those fights combined, he threw 670 strikes and managed to land 325 significant strikes in total. This allowed for a 77.24 FP performance in his loss to Aldo.

This fight promises fireworks and high scoring for the victor. Both fighters have finishing skills, and both are in the top 7 in fantasy average amongst all fighters on this slate. This fight has been handicapped to go the distance, however, which bodes better for Font and his high-volume striking in a 5-round format. In fact, between them both, they have just one combined loss inside the distance (Font was submitted by Pedro Munhoz in October of 2017). Font’s striking should set the tone for this fight, and on the judges’ scorecards he should come out ahead in an upright fight. On the ground, Vera is the more dangerous fighter, and the longer this fight stays there, the better his chances are of a finish. Ultimately, I will take the superior striker with a decent ground game over a fighter with superior grappling and decent striking, and like Font for a decision win here.

Even in loss, these fighters are still capable of scoring well, however. The temptation to stack these fighters in the same lineup may be there, but I cannot recommend this strategy in most cases. I most definitely would not do so here. I believe Vera will try to slow this fight down and change levels whenever possible. This should reduce the chances of both fighters accumulating a lot of points. On DraftKings, both fighters are priced closely to the average, and their values there are very good. Both are priced a bit higher in relation to the field on Fanduel, but they both present decent value there as well. I will be giving Font the edge in exposure in all formats and on both platforms. His ability to accumulate strikes over 25 minutes gives him a better ceiling and I like his chances to win more as well. Vera should be given some love, however, and he cannot be counted out in this fight. His lack of experience beyond the 3rd round may come to haunt him, however.

That’s all for this edition of Fight Study. Good luck with your lineups! For more advice on DFS contests for MMA, click HERE.

About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and the NFL. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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