One of the oldest fighters on the active roster, Frankie Edgar is now 40-years-old and 24-9 as a professional. Eleven of his wins have come by finish and thirteen by decision. He has been knocked out three times. Vera, 28, is 17-7 professionally. Fourteen of his wins have come by finish and all seven losses have been by decision. He is 3-2 in his last five fights.
Edgar vs. Vera betting odds
Edgar enters as the betting underdog against the nearly 2:1 favorite in Vera.
Edgar vs. Vera fight breakdown
Edgar has been in the UFC since 2007; so, at this point, we have a reliable idea of what he will look like in the octagon. He is active, mobile, and produces high-speed strikes. At one time, he was considered one of the best pure boxers in the UFC, regardless of weight class. That skill is still there; and, in his fight against Munhoz in 2020, the speed seemed to still be there too. Edgar is skilled at keeping his opponent moving and piecing them up as he expertly slips strikes and cuts angles. His combinations are pinpoint and crazy quick; but, his once-solid power, seems to have faded with age. Further, Edgar is a respectable wrestler; though, now, he primarily uses his wrestling defensively to keep the fight standing where he often has the edge. Overall, Edgar has the experience, skill, and knowledge to still win at the top level. The question is simply: does he still have the physical attributes needed to win?
Vera is a well-rounded mixed martial artist. He is insanely tough and is able to walk through his opponent’s best shots in order to land his own or secure a takedown. Wherever the fight goes, Vera is comfortable, and, often successful. On the feet, despite having a negative strike differential, Vera is a solid kickboxer who can push a high pace and land a variety of strikes. On the ground, Vera can hold a takedown and slip in a choke for the submission. Vera, although an impressive fighter with skills in all facets of the game, has struggled with an archetype of a fighter- skilled boxers with hand speed. He’s lost two fights since 2020 to technical and quick boxers who tagged Vera and then exited the pocket before he could get ahold of them and make it a clinch fight. He’ll look to change that narrative Saturday.
Edgar vs. Vera prediction
This one is another fight on the card that I’m excited to watch. The technique alone should be a master class. But, when it comes to handicapping, the fight becomes less clear. Vera has all the tools to pressure Edgar, test his wrestling, and grind out a decision. But, Edgar has the boxing and hand speed that has given Vera fits recently. I might be naïve to overlook the age of Edgar but I like him here. I like Edgar’s volume and footwork to lead him to a narrow decision win.
Prediction: Edgar by decision
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.