Exclusive: Jack Shore backs bantamweight rival to come out on top at UFC Vegas 53

The UFC heads back to the Apex Centre in Las Vegas this Saturday with a card that is headlined by a fantastic bantamweight clash.

Number five ranked Rob Font takes on Marlon Vera in Saturday's main event in a clash that could have a significant impact on the 135lb rankings.

Font (19-5) has won four of his last five fights, while Vera (20-7-1) is coming in off back to back wins.

One man who will be keeping a keen eye on this bantamweight bout is Wales' Jack Shore who is ranked 15th in the UFC's bantamweight rankings and he is backing Font to get the business done.

"I think Font gets it done. He'll keep it nice and tidy on the inside using his boxing," Shore exclusively told Planet Sport.

"His technical boxing won't leave him open to 'Chito's' unorthodox attacks. If you're asking for a prediction, I'm taking Font by decision," he added.

Font has featured in four of the UFC's last five bantamweight main events, and has wins over former titleholder Cody 'No Love' Garbrandt, current Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis, and former UFC title challenger 'Magic' Marlon Moraes.

In truth, Font has stepped up his game in each of his last fights, and even in defeat to former featherweight king Jose Aldo, the American in good shape.

Ahead of his fight with Vera on Saturday, Font told the media: "This is my third back-to-back main event and the first two were against former champions.

"I think they (the UFC) trust me and know I'll put on an exciting fight.

"I'm going to make weight, I'm going to show up and then I'm going to handle business!"

Rob Font

The Boston based fighter has a striking accuracy of 44% and lands 5.64 significant strikes per minute in the cage.

On the other side of the Octagon stands Marlon "Chito" Vera.

The Ecuadorian star steps back into the cage after a solid 2021, which saw him beat Davey Grant in an absolute war before knocking out UFC legend Frankie Edgar in November.

Vera has proven a difficult fighter to deal with for his opponents with a takedown defence percentage of 69% and 4.08 significant strikes landed per minute - as proved when he stopped the equally unorthodox Sean O'Malley in 2020.

He caused significant damage to the American's leg and ankle before knocking him out with elbows on the ground.

Vera has made it known that he believes a win will propel him to a top five spot in the rankings and a possible run at the title.

Marlon Vera

"I believe a great win on Saturday night will put me in title contention.

"Depending on how the top of the division plays out, I can have a fight straight for the belt or I will have another fight before that," added Vera.

"A win this Saturday will put me right up there."

A win for either man on Saturday night propels them into the top five conversation in the 135lbs division, and only a couple of wins away from a shot at the current champion Aljamain Sterling.

UK viewers can catch the early prelims live on UFC Fight Pass at 21:00 BST, with prelims starting on BT Sport 1 at 22:00 BST before the main card commences at midnight.

Main Card

Rob Font vs Marlon Vera - bantamweight bout

Jake Collier vs Andrei Arlovski - heavyweight bout

Andre Fili vs Joanderson Brito - featherweight bout

Jared Gordon vs Grant Dawson - lightweight bout

Darren Elkins vs Tristen Connelly - featherweight bout

Gerald Meerschaert vs Krzystof Jotko - middleweight bout

Prelims

Daniel da Silva vs Francisco Figueiredo - flyweight bout

Alexandr Romanov vs Chase Sherman - heavyweight bout

Yohan Lainesse vs Gabe Green - welterweight bout

Mike Breedan vs Natan Levy - lightweight bout

Gina Mazany vs Shanna Young - women's bantamweight bout

Tatsuro Taira vs Carlos Candelario - flyweight bout

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