With a stronger card than the two shows that preceded it, UFC Fight Night: Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera was a highly-anticipated event overall, and for the most part, it delivered.
This UFC Fight Night produced plenty of finishes, from nasty submissions to violent knockouts, and there were a number of explosive moments for the fans to enjoy.
Naturally, the event’s likely to be forgotten after next week’s marquee pay-per-view show. For now, it seems fair for this card to take the spotlight.
Here are the five most explosive moments from UFC Fight Night: Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera.
#5. Marlon Vera fails to finish Rob Font, but still produces one of his best UFC performances with plenty of explosive moments
He didn’t get the finish he was looking for in last night’s headline bout, but Marlon Vera still picked up one of the biggest wins of his UFC career in largely explosive fashion by dismantling Rob Font over five rounds.
The fight was a somewhat odd one, as Font landed more strikes across the bout than ‘Chito’. However, when the final buzzer went, it was clear who the winner was. Not only did Vera land a trio of knockdowns across the fight, coming close to a finish on more than one occasion, he also left Font’s face looking like it’d been through a cheese grater.
The major difference here was clearly the power possessed by Vera. The Ecuadorian seemed to hurt Font every time he landed a shot cleanly. Even when Font clearly won the first round, the sense that it was only a matter of time before Vera caused some damage was there.
Sure enough, ‘Chito’ dropped him with a left hand late in the second round, and after suffering some nasty shots, Font was largely saved by the buzzer. The third round, meanwhile, saw Vera deck Font with a savage knee, and again, it was only the fact that the shot landed at the end of the round that prevented a finish.
The third knockdown came in the fourth round, this time with a side kick variant, and while ‘Chito’ probably didn’t go as hard for the finish as he could’ve done this time, he didn’t need to as Font’s face was such a mess that there was no doubt as to who the winner was.
This was only the third decision win of Vera’s UFC career, but to be frank, it didn’t really matter as it came in an entertaining fight filled with explosive moments. The Ecuadorian remains one of the best bantamweights on the roster to watch right now.
#4. Gabe Green plays it smart to dispatch a tired Yohan Lainesse
The preliminary fight between welterweights Gabe Green and Yohan Lainesse wasn’t garnering much attention at all last night, but it actually produced one of the night’s most explosive – and smartest – finishes overall.
Early on, it looked like the debutant Lainesse, who was coming into the UFC with an unbeaten 8-0 record, would be well on his way to securing a victory. He basically picked apart a flat-footed looking Green in the first round and even dominated him on the mat when the fight briefly hit the ground.
The second round, meanwhile, saw the Canadian deck ‘Gifted Gabe’, but when he failed to finish him off in the aftermath and the subsequent scramble on the ground, the fight turned entirely.
Suddenly, ‘The White Lion’ looked utterly exhausted, and lost any semblance of snap in his strikes. That allowed Green to get back into the fight, and smartly, recognizing how gassed his opponent was, he began to dig hard to the body with some nasty punches.
Moments later, Lainesse wilted and hit the ground, and the fight was finished just seconds later. Considering Green hadn’t fought in the octagon since February 2021, this was a highly impressive win for him. The fact that he’s now the owner of a winning UFC record doesn’t harm things for him either.
#3. Francisco Figueiredo shows he’s almost as dangerous as his UFC champion brother
The UFC has seen a number of sets of brothers fight in the octagon over the years, and for the most part, with the odd exception of Nick and Nate Diaz, one sibling tends to be far more successful than the other.
As for the Figueiredo brothers, it’s obviously not hard to see that younger brother Deiveson has been more successful than his older sibling Francisco. ‘The God of War’ is currently the reigning UFC flyweight champion and has only lost two bouts in his octagon career.
Francisco, on the other hand, came into last night’s event with a 1-1 record in the octagon and a patchy record overall of 12-4. Given this record, it was no surprise that his fight with Daniel Lacerda was flying under the radar.
However, in just over a minute, not only did Francisco prove that he’s almost as dangerous as his brother, he also claimed a nice $50k bonus thanks to a slick – and explosive – kneebar that seemed to come from nowhere.
This wasn’t a submission that was meticulously set up, even though it took remarkable skill. Lacerda looked comfortable on top, essentially until he wasn’t, as Figueiredo seemed to hit a scramble from nowhere and locked in the hold seconds later.
It’s doubtful that Figueiredo is going to be challenging his brother for the gold any time soon – and not only for the obvious reason – but as long as he can produce slick finishes like this, he’ll probably have a place on the UFC’s roster.
#2. Alexandr Romanov brutally submits Chase Sherman to keep his run going
Few fighters seem to be flying under the radar into UFC title contention right now as much as Moldovan heavyweight Alexandr Romanov, but after his explosive finish of Chase Sherman last night, that might change soon.
‘King Kong’ was already 4-0 in the octagon – and 15-0 overall – prior to his bout with Sherman, and it didn’t take him long at all to move to 5-0. Essentially, he outclassed Sherman completely.
Within seconds, Romanov shot in for a takedown, slammed Sherman to the ground, and then suplexed him back down when he stood up. From there, it wasn’t long before he secured full mount, and after abusing him with some punches, he grabbed the right arm of 'The Vanilla Gorilla' and yanked it into an Americana to force the tapout.
This was one of the more brutal submissions in recent memory, as it appeared that Sherman’s arm was literally moments away from snapping, and had there been no referee here, it felt like Romanov could’ve literally torn it from the shoulder entirely, like a modern-day Beowulf.
Given his skills on the ground, brute power and explosive takedowns, it’s probably fair to say now that Romanov might be a genuine contender in the heavyweight division – and so after this dominant win, it’s definitely time to move him up the ladder next time around.
#1. Joanderson Brito makes an explosive UFC return in just 41 seconds
The most explosive performance from last night’s event came from a UFC rookie of sorts in the form of Joanderson Brito. Many fans had his bout with Andre Fili pegged as a potential 'Fight of the Night' contender, but in the end, it simply didn’t go long enough to warrant that.
Instead, Brito claimed a $50k bonus for himself in his second UFC bout by waylaying ‘Touchy’ in under a minute with a series of brutal strikes, cementing himself as a fighter to watch going forward in the featherweight division.
In somewhat of a flashback to the great Anderson Silva’s UFC debut well over a decade ago, literally every strike Brito threw in this bout landed cleanly. He began with two leg kicks, followed by a pair of stiff jabs, and then decked Fili with an overhand right before finishing him on the ground.
Fili – usually a durable fighter capable of absorbing plenty of damage – simply found himself outmatched here and never really got out of the blocks. Essentially, ‘Tubarao’ ran right through him.
Quite how far Brito can go in this division is a question mark, but this was a serious message sent to the rest of the featherweight roster that he’s for real, especially when you consider that Fili hadn’t been finished since 2016. Hopefully we can see the Brazilian in the octagon again soon.