The UFC returns to San Diego – America’s Finest City – for the first time since 2015 with a Fight Night event this Saturday, August 13. The card on ESPN is headlined by a top-drawer bantamweight bout between No. 5 Marlon “Chito” Vera and former two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion, No. 8 Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz. Here’s a look at UFC San Diego odds, props, and picks.
Cruz – priced between +175 and +200 on the moneyline – and Vera – priced between -220 and -240 – duel in a classic “old vs. new” matchup to determine the next big 135-pound title contender.
UFC Fight Night San Diego Odds: Vera vs. Cruz
UFC · Sat (8/13) @ 7:00 pm ET
|Pechanga Arena, San Diego, CA|
Saturday’s UFC San Diego Betting Card
A featherweight bout between Nate “The Train” Landwehr and David “Silent Assassin” Onama serves as the co-main event. Landwehr – priced between +210 and +230 at sportsbooks – fills the underdog role in his date with Onama, who lays odds between -275 and -295.
Fighting action gets underway with the prelims starting at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The main card is set to kick off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, meaning bettors and fans can enjoy wagering on their favorite fighters without having to pay to watch.
Vera Looks to Join Title Talks With Win
Despite being just 29 years old, Vera (19-7-1 MMA, 13-6 UFC) has been a part of the UFC family since 2014 – that’s eight years ago. He’s shown that he can handle tussling with the big boys, though, winning nine of his last 11 contests.
The Ecuadorian has come a long way to reach this point of his career. Ranked fifth in the division, he’s on a three-fight winning streak – with three bonus awards – that includes a decisive victory over No. 7 Rob Font and a knockout of No. 12 Frankie Edgar.
Chito is at the peak of his powers – and has added motivation – as he enters San Diego. Beating a future Hall of Famer in Cruz would extend his winning streak to four and consequently place him in title discussions.
Cruz Pushes for One More Title Run
Cruz (24-3 MMA, 17-3 UFC) has had champion’s blood running through his veins throughout his entire fighting career. After claiming the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) bantamweight title in 2010, The Dominator beat Scott Jorgensen at WEC 53 – the promotion’s last event – to become the inaugural UFC bantamweight champion. He was forced to relinquish his belt due to injury in 2014, but crawled out of the woodwork to regain the strap in 2016.
The 36-year-old has also dealt with a fair share of injuries. He experienced layoffs of 16, 36, and 40 months to recover from separate major injuries, which explains why two of his defeats came during his last four fights.
Injuries aside, Cruz is one of the greatest, most accomplished bantamweights in UFC history. And whether he’s still in his prime or falling out of it, he’s an extremely smart fighter who will find a way to contend with Vera. A winner of his last two matches, he looks to pick up a win in his hometown of San Diego and build on another title run.
Vera vs. Cruz Props
Best prop lines from around the betting market. Please check back later this week for updated betting lines.
Method of Victory Props
Vera by submission (+900, FanDuel)
Vera by KO/TKO/DQ (+340, BetRivers)
Vera by decision (+155, BetRivers)
Cruz by submission (+3400, FanDuel)
Cruz by KO/TKO/DQ (+950, FanDuel)
Cruz by decision (+280, FanDuel)
UFC props betting: $50 Free Bet + $1,000 Bonus at DraftKings
Total Round Prop
4.5 (over -190 (DraftKings), under +165 (Caesars))
Note: 2:30 min mark of each round indicates the ‘half-round’ for under/over bets. For example, if you bet on Over 4.5 rounds, the fight would have to exceed the 2:30 min mark of the fifth round for you to win.
Alternate Total Rounds Props
0.5 (ov -10000, un +1200)
1.5 (ov -750, un +425)
2.5 (ov -360, un +250)
3.5 (ov -255, un +185)
Will Fight Go the Distance?
Yes -170 (Caesars)
No +140 (DraftKings)
Vera vs. Cruz Betting Picks
Moneyline: Cruz (+200, Caesars)
Vera will look to apply pressure on Cruz right out of the gate and seek an early finish, but the latter is too smart and elusive to let that happen. The Dominator is an unorthodox striker who uses his quick feet and rapid head movement to jab quickly and avoid taking damage (71% significant strike defense).
Cruz’s high IQ and experience allows him to dissect his opponents and make mid-fight adjustments, so even if he’s unable to withstand Chito’s onslaught, the former champ can turn to his many years of wrestling training to change the style of the fight.
While he’s priced as the 2-to-1 underdog at Caesars, you could make the argument that Cruz should be the favorite. His IQ and experience, coupled with his advantages in defense and wrestling, make his plus-money price worth any wager amount.
Total Rounds: Over 4.5 (-190, DraftKings)
Cruz’s technical style is tailor-made to go the distance and win by points. Similarly to Floyd Mayweather, The Dominator jumps in and out of striking zones to land more strikes than he absorbs, all while constantly bobbing his head around to avoid getting hit. His wrestling also helps him drag fights out, as well as earn the judges’ votes by scoring points through takedowns and top control.
Although Vera has stopped 15 of his 19 victories, he’s gone the distance in all seven of his career losses. Even two of his last three wins, including a 25-minute match against Font, reached a decision.
Best Bet: Cruz By Decision (+280, FanDuel)
The 36-year-old Cruz has trouble finishing opponents, and his stance and reach disadvantages against Vera will render his striking futile. The Ecuadorian hasn’t once been finished in his 27-fight career.
Despite everything considered, that shouldn’t frighten Cruz backers, weirdly enough, because the former champ has had better luck winning by decision (67% decision rate in wins).
UFC San Diego Main Card Odds
Here’s the entire main card for Saturday’s event, along with each fighter’s moneyline odds from FanDuel:
— Bantamweight: Marlon Vera (-250) vs. Dominick Cruz (+190)
— Featherweight: Nate Landwehr (+230) vs. David Onama (-310)
— Women’s Strawweight: Yazmin Jauregui (-225) vs. Iasmin Lucindo (+172)
— Light Heavyweight: Devin Clark (+128) vs. Azamat Murzakanov (-164)
— Women’s Flyweight: Cynthia Calvillo (-180) vs. Nina Nunes (+140)
— Middleweight: Bruno Silva (-310) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+230)
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