The main event on Saturday sees a pair of Bantamweight stars mix it up in the Octagon. Marlon Vera will take on Dominick Cruz in a matchup of top ten fighters. The Ecuadorean, Vera, will look to continue a recent string of success in the UFC, while the American, Cruz, will hope to stop his opponent’s rise up the rankings.
Which of these talented fighters will leave with a win? BetMaker previews the upcoming matchup and gives a prediction on the outcome.
UFC Fight Night Preview
Dominick Cruz vs. Marlon Vera
Date and Time: Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 7 PM
Location: Pechanga Arena, San Diego, CA
Odds: Dominick Cruz (+175) vs. Marlon Vera (-235)
TV Coverage: ESPN PPV
Marlon “Chito” Vera enters this matchup as the 5th-ranked contender. He’s posted a 19-7 mark throughout his professional career, including a 13-6 record under the UFC flag. Vera has seen success over his last handful of fights, notching three consecutive wins to climb up the rankings.
Chito is a finisher, having ended 10 of his 13 wins by either TKO or submission. He boasts great striking abilities, as noted by a 31% KO rate, but often can struggle with counterattacks. He’s dropped all six of his UFC losses by decision and often is outpunched by his opponents. Look no further than his win over Rob Font, where he was outpunched but was still able to do more damage.
While that strategy has been successful over the last three fights, it is risky when facing a striker of Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz’s level. If Vera isn’t able to land an early knockout, Cruz’s odds of a win by the decision will take a massive jump.
Speaking of Cruz, he’s a former UFC champion, most recently holding the Bantamweight belt in 2016. Unfortunately, after suffering a loss to Cody Garbrandt, he was forced to take a four-year hiatus from the sport. Upon his return to MMA, he’s 2-1, losing a title fight to Henry Cejudo in May of 2020 before reeling off a pair of victories over his last two contests.
Cruz has never lost a fight where there was no championship belt on the line, and he’s posted an impressive 24-3 overall record as a professional (7-2 UFC record). He certainly has the potential to pull an upset, but it will depend on both his conditioning and defense. Since returning to the UFC, he’s landed both of his wins by decision. That will be his most likely form of victory on Saturday, too.
Unfortunately, he’s also shown a susceptibility to the knockout blow, which is how Vera will look to end this matchup. If he can avoid his opponent’s lethal punches, the odds of outlasting Chito will turn in his favor.
UFC Betting Preview
Marlon Vera enters the matchup as the favorite, boasting -235 odds at BetRivers sportsbook. He is the higher-rated fighter and will hope to continue his ascent up the UFC Bantamweight standings. Dominick Cruz comes in as the heavy underdog, possessing +175 odds.
If you believe an upset can occur, there’s certainly value on Cruz’s end. A $100 bettor would win $175 on a Cruz victory. You will need to lay down $235 to win $100 should you stick with the favorite, Vera.
As far as method of victory, these fighters couldn’t be more different. Cruz has posted seven UFC wins, with six coming by way of decision. He will look to outmatch his opponent in technical strikes while outlasting him in the Octagon.
Vera, meanwhile, is looking to end this fight before the final bell. Ten of his 13 wins have ended by finish, with the fighter posting six knockouts and four submissions. However, when he’s been unable to land a finishing blow, he has struggled. All six of his losses have come by decision, and he’s just 3-6 in fights that go the distance.
- Cruz is 3-0 in non-title fights
- 75% of Cruz’s fights have ended via decision
- All six of Vera’s UFC losses have come via decision
- 10 of Vera’s 13 wins have ended by finish
UFC Fight Night Prediction
The sportsbooks are leaning towards Vera and for good reason. We’ll back the punishing puncher to land another knockout blow against Cruz. Cruz has yet to win against a fighter of Vera’s level since returning to the sport. While he is a former champion, his best days are behind him.
The Pick: Marlon Vera to win by finish (+165)