UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Cruz First Look, Betting Picks, Odds, and Prediction

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Following their highly successful return to live arena events earlier this year, the UFC and their production team will travel to San Diego, California.

Top-ranked bantamweight contenders Marlon Vera and former 135lb champion Dominick Cruz will meet in the center of the octagon for next weekend’s main event.

Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at Vera and Cruz, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC picks, predictions, and analysis.

Marlon Vera vs. Dominick Cruz

UFC Bantamweight Main Event Bout 

Saturday, August 06, 2022 – 07:00 PM ET at Pechanga Arena

Marlon “Chito” Vera (21-7-0)

Fighter Profile

Marlon Vera has been busy etching his own veteran path on the UFC roster after an eight-year stint as a rising contender has finally paid off for the Ecuadorian who’s fought his way into the top-10 rankings.  

Mixed results during Vera’s early UFC tenure provided an unpredictable future. Still, since 2018 he’s become a household name within the company with successes over the likes of:

  • Sean O’Malley
  • Frankie Edgar
  • Rob Font

Representing Ecuador, the South American fighting spirit is forever present when Vera enters the octagon. An entertaining yet highly diverse set of tools has positioned Vera as a truly dangerous mixed martial artist.  

A front kick knockout stoppage over Frankie Edgar and a domineering unanimous victory over top contender Rob Font has steered Vera’s mind towards one thing: bantamweight championship title contention.  

Marlon Vera MMA Accomplishments  

  • UFC Fight of the Night (Three times) 
  • UFC Performance of the Night (Four times)   
  • Most stoppage victories in UFC Bantamweight division history (9)  

Marlon Vera Best Available Odds: ML (-190) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz (24-3-0)

Fighter Profile

Veteran competitors still active in the 135lb division are scarce, but Dominick Cruz has remained a top UFC contender for over eleven years.  

The former two-time bantamweight title holder has been through the ringers of elite competition while competing against multiple generations of new and old fighters. Thanks to his elusive in-octagon style, the 36-year-old is still managing to compete and defeat the world’s best, with a No.8 bantamweight ranking next to his name.  

His legendary battles will live on forever in our minds, including:

  • Demetrious Johnson
  • Uriah Faber
  • T.J. Dillashaw
  • Cody Garbrandt
  • Henry Cejudo

But, how long can the aging American keep up with the youthful up-and-coming talent of today?    

Dominick Cruz MMA Accomplishments  

  • UFC Bantamweight Champion (Two times, first, three title defenses)  
  • UFC Fight of the Night (Four times)  
  • UFC Performance of the Night (One time)  
  • Most wins in UFC/WEC Bantamweight history (13)  
  • Tied with T.J. Dillashaw for the most consecutive Bantamweight title defenses in UFC history (2)  
  • WEC Bantamweight Champion (One time, final)   

Dominick Cruz Available Odds: ML (+180) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

UFC San Diego: Vera vs. Cruz Breakdown & Analysis  

Vera Style and How Can Vera Defeat Cruz?

The leg kicks of Chito Vera have been a crucial factor in many of his past contests. With a 2-inch reach advantage over the former champion, he can make great use of his setup jab while attempting to chop away at the calves of Cruz.  

The problem for Vera will be no different than any of Cruz’s past opponents, and that’s the movement. However, Vera's aforementioned leg kicks can slow Cruz down and give the younger, hungrier fighter a confident advantage in obtaining victory. 

Cruz Fight Style and How Can Cruz Defeat Vera?

Cruz has spent his MMA career delivering one of the most unorthodox in-cage movements that have been a complex puzzle for most opponents to solve. The lateral movement and unpredictable striking angles have been unlike any competitor on the roster. This unique style is why he’s lost just 3 of his 27 pro MMA bouts.  

Cruz’s approach rarely changes; he’ll test his unusual, striking offense to gauge whether he can out-point his opponents and if that fails, a solid wrestling base can be relied on.  

Don’t expect Cruz’s approach to change next weekend. The only question is, can Vera solve the Rubix cube of the former champs' MMA striking? If not, Cruz will become a live underdog worth betting on.    

Vera vs. Cruz Betting Prediction 

The available UFC odds favor Vera, and with a more active career alongside an upward bantamweight trajectory, I understand the sportsbook's current position.  

However, the two-time champion is a +180 underdog, and despite losing to Vera, another veteran competitor in Frankie Edgar was completely outclassing the Ecuadorian up until the vicious knockout.  

If Vera cannot solve the movement of Cruz - a consistent problem for past 135lb fighters that have faced him – he will be stuck on the wrong end of a unanimous decision loss.

And I’d rather take my chances on the available underdog value instead of relying on Vera’s problem-solving that has faltered against two aging veterans in recent years (Edgar and Jose Aldo).  

UFC Pick: Dominick Cruz to Win ML (+180) [1u returns 1.80u profit] at BetOnline

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Dominick Cruz to Win ML (+180)
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 *The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.