UFC Fight Night Vera vs Cruz betting picks and predictions: Epic night of action expected in San Diego - but where is the best value bet?
Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz clash in a headline bout as UFC's latest fight night rolls into San Diego this Saturday. There is a full card of action - and as ever- our man Ben Fowlkes has found the best bets for you.
Marlon Vera (blue gloves) competes against Frankie Edgar (red gloves) during UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
|Vera vs Cruz||Preview|
|Where||Pechanga Arena San Diego|
|When||Saturday, August 13, @ 9pm ET|
Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event gets the show literally back on the road in San Diego, California, this weekend, and the charge will be led by a main event that’s tough to call but also potentially profitable for courageous gamblers. The question at the core of it all is this: Do you believe that former UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz is as good (or at least close to it) as he ever was?
Because, honestly, if the answer is yes, then this must feel like an easy one. Cruz is going off as a +190 underdog against Marlon Vera (-225) in the headliner, which feels like oddsmakers are looking at Cruz’s age (36) and injury history (extensive) and drawing the conclusion that he’s done competing with the top of this division. That would be an understandable assumption.
Pedro Munhoz defends against Dominick Cruz during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
The lighter weight classes are where youth seems to flourish and age decays quickly (by contrast, a 36-year-old heavyweight is just getting started). Then there’s also Cruz’s style, which relies heavily on quickness and reflexes, and that’s not always the approach that ages best in any division.
Then again, Cruz has been written off before. His long, hard battle to return from an injury history that reads like an ancient curse had plenty of people ready to turn the page on him. Still, the man has yet to lose a fight to anyone but champions. That’s a pretty good track record.
I think the line ought to be a little closer, if only because Cruz is such a smart and experienced fighter, but I can see why oddsmakers like Vera, who’s seven years younger and seems like he’s on the upswing. I still think Cruz might be worth small action, but the safest play here is betting that these two 135-pounders will go all five rounds.
Cruz wasn’t known as a finisher even in his prime, but he also simply does not get finished. You can get -190 odds on the fight going the distance, which, when paired with one of the bigger favorites on the card in a parlay (the -280 David Onama, for instance) will get you a decent return.
Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Angela Hill (blue gloves) during UFC 265 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re looking for bigger risks and greater returns, however, look to the undercard. One that stands out to me is Angela Hill (above) going off as a +245 underdog against Lupita Godinez (-295). I know people look at Hill’s record and see three straight losses, but this pairing is not nearly as lopsided as these odds suggest.
Hill could absolutely surprise Godinez here – or just finally get a close decision to go her way. I wouldn’t lay anything down on it that I couldn’t afford to lose, but it might be one of the best small underdog plays available on this card. Something tells me Hill has at least one UFC win left in her, and a relatively inexperienced opponent like Godinez might be the best chance she has to squeeze it out.
UFC Fight Night San Diego picks and predictions
The safe pick: Cruz-Vera to go the distance (-190)
The parlay option: Cruz-Vera to go the distance + David Onama (+107)
The big risk/big reward pick: Angela Hill (+245)
UFC Fight Night San Diego full undercard and prelims
Marlon Vera vs Dominick Cruz: 135 lbs
Nate Landwehr vs David Onama: 145 lbs
Devin Clark vs Azamat Murzakanov: 205 lbs
Cynthia Calvillo vs Nina Nunes: 125 lbs
Gerald Meerschaert vs Bruno Silva: 185 lbs
Loopy Godinez vs Angela Hill: 115 lbs
Ariane Lipski vs Priscila Cachoeira: 125 lbs
Josh Quinlan vs Jason Witt: 170 lbs
Yazmin Jauregui vs Iasmin Lucindo: 115 lbs
Lukasz Brzeski vs Martin Buday: 265 lbs
Gabriel Benitez vs Charlie Ontiveros: 155 lbs
Tyson Nam vs Ode Osbourne: 125 lbs
Da’Mon Blackshear vs Youssef Zalal: 135 lbs
Where can I watch UFC fight night San Diego?
The full night of action will be available to watch on ESPN+. Coverage of the prelims start at 4pm ET while the main card will stream live from 7pm ET. Vera and Cruz are expected into the Octagon around 9pm.