One of the protagonists of the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship headliner botched to make weight.
The UFC Vegas 53 main event was supposed to feature a bantamweight clash between Rob Font and Marlon Vera. New England Cartel representative Font (19-5, 9-4 UFC) is a few hours away from his third main event. Font is looking to bounce back on track following his unanimous-decision defeat at the hands of former UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo at UFC on ESPN 31. Prior, the 34-year-old Boston-native was on a four-bout win streak which included victories over onetime UFC 135-pound titleholder Cody Garbrandt and Marlon Moraes. Font missed the contracted weight as he came in at 138.5 pounds, 2.5 pounds above the bantamweight division's limit.
“The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” semifinalist Vera (18-7-1, 12-6 UFC) is looking to confirm his momentum following back-to-back wins. In his latest appearance, "Chito" rendered unconscious Frankie Edgar following a front kick that halted the contest at the 3:50 mark of the third period at UFC 268. That victory followed a dominant performance that stemmed a unanimous decision over Davey Grant at UFC on ESPN 25. Overall, Vera won eight times in 10 appearances. The Ecuadorian fighter had no issues in weighting at 136 pounds and accepted to face his opponent, who missed weight.
In the co-headliner, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and Jake Collier will collide at heavyweight. Arlovski (33-20, 2 NC; 22-14, 1 NC UFC) is living a second youth as far as results go. "The Pit Bull" has overcome five out of his latest six opponents, with Tom Aspinall as the only exception. On the scales, the Belarusian fighter recorded 246 pounds. Former Resurrection Fighting Alliance middleweight champion Jake Collier (13-6, 5-5 UFC) has alternated results in his latest outings. "The Prototype" stepped on the scale at 265 pounds.
UFC Vegas 53, also known as UFC on ESPN 35, will go down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The prelims will air live on Saturday on ESPN+ and ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. The main card will start at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN+ and ESPN.
Rob Font (138.5)* vs. Marlon Vera (136) at bantamweight
Andrei Arlovski (246) vs. Jake Collier (265) at heavyweight
Joanderson Brito (145.5) vs. Andre Fili (145.5) at featherweight
Grant Dawson (155.5) vs. Jared Gordon (155.5) at lightweight
Tristan Connelly (146) vs. Darren Elkins (145.5) at featherweight
Krzysztof Jotko (186) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (185) at middleweight
Alexander Romanov (236.5) vs. Chase Sherman (247) at heavyweight
Daniel Lacerda (125) vs. Francisco Figueiredo (125.5) at flyweight
Gabriel Green (170.5) vs. Yohan Lainesse (169) at welterweight
Mike Breeden (155.5) vs. Natan Levy (155) at lightweight
Gina Mazany (126) vs. Shanna Young (125) at women’s flyweight
Carlos Candelario (126) vs. Tatsuro Taira (125.5) at flyweight
*Font missed weight by 2.5 pounds and has been fined 20% of his purse.