Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event features two Southern California MMA legends squaring off in the Octagon when Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera takes on San Diego native Dominick ‘The Dominator’ Cruz. , in Cruz’s backyard at the Pechanga Arena.
A win for either fighter will put them squarely in the mix for a bantamweight title shot.
SI MMA: Cruz wants the crown
Both fighters are UFC veterans, with Chito joining the promotion in 2014 and Cruz making his Octagon debut in 2011.
“The Dominator” was a hot prospect when he joined the UFC, but he struggled with injuries throughout his career and never lived up to his potential. Vera, meanwhile, continued to battle all comers and is on a three-game winning streak.
Here are our staff’s best bets for this card.
Bet on UFC Fight Night at SI Sportsbook
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022
Location: Pechanga Arena | San Diego, California.
Prelims 4 p.m. ET
Youseff Zalal (-133) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (+110)
Jason Witt (+225) vs. Josh Quinlan (-275)
Ode’ Osbourne (-250) vs. Tyson Nam (+205)
Gabriel Benitez (-350) against Charlie Ontiveros (+275)
Cynthia Calvillo (-188) against Nina Nunes (+155)
Martin Buday (-275) against Lukasz Brzeski (+225)
Angela Hill (+275) vs. Loopy Godinez (-350)
Main card 7 p.m. ET
Bruno Silva (-300) against Gerald Meerschaert (+240)
Priscila Cachoeira (+165) against Ariane Lipski (-200)
Devin Clark (+130) vs Azamat Murzakanov (-154)
Yazmin Jauregui (-213) against Iasmin Lucindo (+175)
Nate Landwehr (+240) vs David Onama (-300)
Marlon Vera (-225) against Dominick Cruz (+188)
The John Morgan Metro EIC:
I’m leaning towards the favorite here in Marlon Vera simply because I think he’s peaking as an athlete right now and with the way his style matches Dominick Cruz I think he can top the former champion on the feet, where I expect this fight to take place. That said, the line continues to climb higher and higher, and I don’t like the idea of dropping a lot of money against a former champion and future UFC Hall of Famer. While Vera is a proven finisher, I don’t know if he’ll be able to do that against an athlete of Cruz’s caliber, so I’ll bet this fight to go the distance. Both men have what it takes to go five rounds, and while going to the judges’ cards isn’t the most exciting outcome to cheer on as a fan, I think these two top fighters are going to have some hard to end the evening of the other. early.
BET: The fight goes the distance (-188)
Doug Vazquez of SI Video:
I can’t wait to see the showdown between arguably the two best nicknames in MMA when Priscila “Zombie Girl” Cachoeira takes on Ariane “The Queen of Violence” in the bantamweight division. This match will certainly live up to its hype and I expect at least one performance bonus to come out of this fight with potential Fight of the Night honors on the table. Both fighters aren’t afraid to step on their opponents and cut through danger in order to land vicious strikes. With two attackers as hard as these, I think the smart bet is that this fight doesn’t go the distance and you can get a pretty good price at SI Sportsbook for less than 2.5 rounds at plus-money.
BET: less than 2.5 spins (+130)
SI.com’s Robin Lundberg:
It’s an interesting matchup considering it’s two fighters who you’d think would be on different paths. However, Cruz has bounced back lately, proving why he has such a respected career. Despite this, I will favor the youngest surging contender in Vera in a fight I expect to go the distance and a decision.
BET: The fight goes the distance (-188); Vera via DEC (+130)
Julian Pinto of SI Video:
I have Marlon Vera making the decision on Dominick Cruz. Both fighters like to push a high pace, but I don’t think Cruz will be able to use his footwork the way he did when he was younger. In a five round fight this could be more exposed and I think Vera will grind it down in 25 minutes and outclass the former champ.
BET: Vera via DEC (+130)
Justin Barrasso of SI MMA:
Dominick Cruz’s quest for a third round as the champion meets his biggest hurdle in a fight against Chito Vera. If Cruz can triple, it could bolster his claim as the greatest bantamweight of all time. Vera is a particularly tough match, with a chin that can take a beating and a willingness to trade blows. But when Cruz is healthy, the overwhelming majority of his fights prove not to bet against him. And Cruz comes into this fight healthy.
BET: Dominick Cruz (+188)
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