After UFC 277 earlier this month, the bar was set high last week for UFC Vegas 59, and it didn’t disappoint. Now, the organization is on the road at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California for UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz. In the main event, No.5 Marlon “Chito” Vera is on the hunt for a title and lands a former champion in No.8 Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz as his test. The main card also features intriguing rising featherweight talent David Onama in the co-headliner as he looks to continue his perfect 4-0 record in the Octagon, and is a strong favorite to do so against Nate Landwehr.
Another interesting fight on the main card is the bout between Azamat Murzakanov and Devin Clark in the light heavyweight division. Murzakanov impressed in his UFC debut with a third-round TKO of Tafon Nchukwi. Supporting the main card is a strong preliminary lineup that features a trio of ranked women’s fighters. No. 12 Cynthia Calvillo takes on No. 9 Nina Nunes in a women’s flyweight bout, while No.13 Angela Hill in the strawweight division looks to snap her three-fight losing streak with a catchweight bout against Loopy Godinez.
Vera vs Cruz Main Event Preview
Once a top challenger in the UFC at bantamweight, Cruz (24-3-0) is trying to beat the odds to get back into contention. Just six years ago, he possessed UFC gold for a moment in 2016 after defeating Urijah Faber at UFC 199. Returning after a three-year injury absence with a title shot in 2020 against Henry Cejudo, the loss generated doubt as to his status
Cruz is hoping to hang tough in the division. he has watched other fighters climb in the rankings, while he stacked together consecutive wins in 2021 over Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz. On Saturday against Vera, Cruz aspires to reclaim a top-five ranking in the division, a fighter on the rise with dreams of his own.
Throughout his seven-year career, Vera (19-7-1) has had his momentum in the bantamweight division interrupted more than once. He’s continually strung together wins to rise in the rankings, only to lose at the wrong time. Now, he faces a former champion in Cruz as his test to show he is worthy of a title fight.
While both fighters possess knockout power, this five-round contest between a wrestler and a grappler is more likely to go the distance or end by submission. Vera, 29, has the youth advantage of being eight years younger than Cruz, but the better opponent resume belongs to the latter. Vera, the fight favorite at -240, will have both the reach and leg reach advantage, while both fighters stand at 5’8”.
UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz Fight Card and Odds
#5 Marlon Vera (-240) vs #8 Dominick Cruz (+200) – Bantamweight
Nate Landwehr (+235) vs David Onama (-280) – Featherweight
Yazmin Jauregui (–) vs Iasmin Lucindo (–) – Women’s Strawweight
Devin Clark (+125) vs Azamat Murzakanov (-145) – Light Heavyweight
Priscila Cachoeira (+175) vs Ariane Lipski (-205) – Women’s Bantamweight
Bruno Silva (-285) vs Gerald Meerschaert (+240) – Middleweight
#13 Angela Hill (+245) vs Loopy Godinez (-295) – Catchweight
Martin Buday (–) vs Lukasz Brzeski (–) – Heavyweight