UFC Vegas 53 gambling preview: Best bets, parlays, and long shot of the week

UFC Fight Night: Font v Garbrandt

The UFC continues its seven-week run of events this weekend with UFC Vegas 53, headlined by a bantamweight contest between Rob Font and Marlon Vera. Font is coming off a loss to Jose Aldo this past December which, for now at least, has upended his title aspirations. “Chito” also lost to Aldo somewhat recently, but he has since won back-to-back bouts and is now looking to make a legitimate title run.

Outside of the main event, the card this weekend is a little thin, with only a few known commodities making the walk on Saturday. There are still betting opportunities, so let’s go!

As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.


Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Straight Bets

Rob Font, -130

Font was once a genuine dark horse in bantamweight. Font is still one of the most underrated fighters in this sport, despite his decisive defeat to Aldo. Font is a skilled fighter with a strong jab. He was also very efficient and worked hard, but he was only defeated by Aldo’s extraordinary defense and powerful striking. Vera can be a strong defensive fighter, and packs a punch. But he is not Aldo. Font should be able to find a lot more success here and get back on the winning track.

Jake Collier, +125

Andrei Arlovski will be facing Collier in this co-main event. While Collier may not be a world champion, it is difficult to understand why he would want to pay more money for Arlovski. Don’t get me wrong, I have argued that Arlovski is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history, but the man is 43 and getting by almost entirely only guile and stubbornness. He really shouldn’t be minus money against a guy 10 years his junior and one who usually works at a pretty high pace. Give me the underdog value on Collier.

Daniel Lacerda, -120

Lacerda takes on Francisco Figueiredo, who isn’t nearly as talented, skilled, or athletic as his brother, UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo. Lacerda is an extremely aggressive fighter, both on the feet and on the floor, and Figueiredo struggles to consistently apply a coherent game plan, especially as the fight goes on when he starts to tire. Lacerda’s activity and offensiveness are what I enjoy.


Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Prop Bets

Rob Font by Decision, +165

We’re doubling down on Rob Font because I feel great about his chances this weekend. It’s always a riskier proposition to bet that five-round fights will go to decision, but Vera has never been stopped in his entire career and Font only has one stoppage win since 2018.

Krzysztof Jotko by Decision, +180

In the main card opener, Jotko will face Gerald Meerschaert. This fight is most likely to be one of the best middleweight fights. Meerschaert is going to try to take Jotko down, but he’s not a good wrestler so he’s not going to succeed, and Jotko is mostly going to stay at range and use his speed and athletic advantages to outwork Meerschaert. Jotko could also take Meerschaert down. While Meerschaert may be a danger grappler, Jotko should still be able to keep his top spot. Either way, this feels like Jotko is simply going to outwork Meerschaert over 15 minutes.

Alexander Romanov Wins in Round 2, +475

This flies in the face of my Long Shot of the Week, but I also really like this bet. The overwhelming likelihood in this fight is that Romanov beats Sherman, but he’s juiced so heavily for a Round 1 win and Romanov isn’t someone who forces things. He could take his time and be a bit more patient than Sherman. Here, I prefer a value wager.


Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Parlay of the Week

Andre Fili, -260

This fight is set up for Fili to succeed. Joanderson Brito isn’t a bad fighter, but Fili is simply better everywhere and also has all the physical advantages. I’d be pretty shocked if Brito pulled off the upset here.

Gina Mazany, -180

Not to put too fine a point on it but Shanna Young just isn’t a very good fighter. She’s been defeated by many of the best fighters she’s ever faced. Mazany isn’t a world-beater but she’s an enthusiastic scrapper and has some ability to grapple, which should be more than enough to get her hand raised here.

Parlay these two bets together for +115 odds.


Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Long Shot of the Week

Chase Sherman by KO/TKO/DQ in Round 3, +7500

When this fight was originally supposed to take place last week, we were feeling spicy and put Chase Sherman with the upset in our Long Shot of the Week — and we’re doing it again, baby! Alexander Romanov may be a great prospect, who now looks better because he’s lost his baby fat, but Sherman is still a solid defender of takedowns and it’s heavyweight. Moreover, Sherman isn’t supposed to be here. The man was cut from the UFC earlier this year before stepping in on short notice last week. And to paraphrase the legend, Jimmy McGinty, there is no tomorrow for him, and that makes Sherman a very dangerous person.

* Sherman must survive at least the first round. Romanov won’t have an easy time getting takedowns in Round 2. Sherman’s size and volume give him the chance to wear down the prospect. For odds saying there’s about a 1-percent chance of it happening, I’ll take a flyer.

Wrap Up

We had an up-and-down run last week, nailing all our straight bets but missing all our props and the parlay. However, for the second time this year we spiked our Long Shot bet. It was kind of. Mike Jackson pulled off his upset, but Chase Sherman was forced out of action, meaning our Long Shot essentially just turned into a straight bet on Jackson. Still, +700 is a damn fine win. Let’s keep it up.

Good luck to all and remember to gamble responsibly

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