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MMASucka’s UFC Vegas 53 Staff Picks

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The second-half of our double-header, April-end weekend for MMASucka staff picks is locked in.

UFC Vegas 53, also titled as UFC Fight Night 206 and UFC on ESPN 35, will take place this evening, April 29 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Six fights will take place on the main card beginning at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) live on ESPN for cable viewers and on ESPN+ for subscribers.

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Live results from the entire fight card of UFC Vegas 53: Font vs. Vera will be available here at MMASucka.

Recap our staff picks from Thursday night’s PFL 2 2022 event from Arlington, Texas.

The Fights

Rob Font and Marlon Vera will square off against one another in tonight’s featured main event. The fight was originally slated in the bantamweight division until Font missed weight at Friday’s weigh-ins by two and-a-half pounds.

New England Cartel’s Font is set for his third straight promotional main event in what will the Manchester native’s fourteenth octagon walk. His 2021 calendar year saw a decision win over former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt followed by, most recently, a December decision defeat to two-time featherweight king Jose Aldo. Font’s opponent, Vera, looks to break out as a potential title contender in search of his third win since June of last year. If propelled to a shot at Aljamain Sterling with a win tonight over Font, he would become the first Ecuadorian to fight for a championship in UFC history.

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In the co-main event of the night, heavyweight veteran Andrei Arlovski will take on Jake Collier. Fan-favorite Arlovski will look for his fourth straight win and second of 2022 while Missouri’s Collier aims to back up his recent first-round, bonus-winning submission of Chase Sherman in January.

Find out further below who the MMASucka staff are picking to win on the main card of UFC Vegas 53.

Staff Picks

Staff picks in 2022 will follow the same set of rules from the 2021 season. Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be included for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the entire fight card; dates for this promotion’s return are soon-to-be announced.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2022 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. A winner is determined simply by the individual correctly picking the most victorious fighters at the year’s end. Nate Freeman secured his first victory with MMASucka in 2021 with a compiled record 243-136.

See all of our UFC Vegas 53: Font vs. Vera staff picks below.

Staff Records after Bellator 279:

1T. Jeremy Brand: 67-34
1T. Michael DeSantis: 67-34
3. Nate Freeman: 66-35
4. Wesley Riddle: 65-36
5. William Dong: 62-39
6T. Tim Wheaton: 61-36
6T. Coby Weinsier: 61-34
8T. Andrew Benjamin: 60-41
8T. Frazer Krohn: 60-41
8T. Mike Lynch: 60-41
8T. Brandon Joint: 60-35
12. Julio Monteros Jr.: 58-37
13T. Ash Camyab: 57-40
13T. Chris Presnell: 57-44
15. Jacek Okninski: 52-44
16. Chinyere Okafor: 48-22
17. Brian Knight: 30-14
18. Matt Bricker: 22-20
19. Jack Goodwillie: 21-12
20. Joe Porter: 8-4

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – PFL 2 2022 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Krzysztof Jotko (23-5), -180
vs.
Gerald Meerschaert (34-14), +155

Middleweight Division, 185 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Meerschaert via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Meerschaert via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Jotko via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Meerschaert via Round 3 SUB
Brandon Joint: Meerschaert via Round 2 SUB
William Dong: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Jotko via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Jotko via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Jotko: 13
Staff picking Meerschaert: 4


Darren Elkins (27-10), -165
vs.
Tristan Connelly (14-7), +145

Featherweight Division, 145 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Connelly via Round 3 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Elkins via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Connelly via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Connelly via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Connelly via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Connelly via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Elkins via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Connelly via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Connelly via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Elkins: 10
Staff picking Connelly: 7


Jared Gordon (18-4), +160
vs.
Grant Dawson (17-1-1), -190

Lightweight Division, 155 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Dawson via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Dawson via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Gordon via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Dawson via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Gordon via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Dawson via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Dawson via Round 2 TKO
Chinyere Okafor: Dawson via Round 2 SUB
Julio Monteros Jr.: Dawson via Round 1 SUB
Brian Knight: Dawson via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Dawson via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Gordon: 2
Staff picking Dawson: 15


Andre Fili (21-8, 1 NC), -250
vs.
Joanderson Brito (12-3-1), +200

Featherweight Division, 145 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Fili via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Fili via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Fili via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Fili via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell: Fili via Round 2 TKO
Coby Weinsier: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Fili via Round 1 TKO
William Dong: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Fili via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Fili via Split Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Fili via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Fili: 17
Staff picking Brito: 0


Andrei Arlovski (33-20, 2 NC), -125
vs.
Jake Collier (13-6), +105

Heavyweight Co-Main Event, 265 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Arlovski via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Arlovski via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Arlovski via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Arlovski via Round 3 TKO
Mike Lynch: Arlovski via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Arlovski via Round 2 TKO
Chinyere Okafor: Arlovski via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Arlovski via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Arlovski via Split Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Arlovski via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Arlovski: 17
Staff picking Collier: 0


Rob Font (19-5), -120
vs.
Marlon Vera (18-7-1), +100

Catchweight Main Event, 138.5 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Font via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Vera via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Vera via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Vera via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Vera via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Vera via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Font via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Vera via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Vera via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Font via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Font via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Font via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Font via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Font via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Vera via Majority Decision
Brian Knight: Font via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Font via Split Decision

Staff picking Font: 9
Staff picking Vera: 8

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

UFC VEGAS 53 FEATURED IMAGE:
Embed from Getty Images

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Wesley Riddle is a 25-year-old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a recent graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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