UFC San Antonio Main Event Preview: Sandhagen vs Vera

UFC San Antonio Main Event Preview: Sandhagen vs Vera


UFC San Antonio Main Event Preview: Sandhagen vs Vera


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The UFC heads to San Antonio this weekend where top five bantamweights, Cory Sanhagen and Marlon “Chito” Vera will clash in hopes of getting one step closer to 135 lb gold. Sandhagen and Vera are two of the most dynamic strikers and prolific finishers in the division. Sandhagen has finished 10 of his 15 career wins, with his last three wins coming by KO/TKO. Chito has finished 16 of his 20 career wins and has won two of his last three by KO. 

Sandhagen has the better technical striking of the two, where Vera is the better grappler with eight career submissions. We have seen Sandhagen shooting a lot more takedowns in his recent fights but given how dangerous Chito can be off his back I expect Sandhagen to look to take the easiest path to victory and keep this fight standing. In the stand up, Sandhagen will be the more active fighter, leading the dance while Vera will be content to sit back and look for opportunities to counter and equalize with his power and creativity. Vera is an infamously slow starter and usually loses the first round, even in fights he wins. He patiently looks to make reads within the round, counter-strike, and explode with offense in the last two minutes of rounds.

Sandhagen will also make reads and adjustments throughout the fight but will never stop giving you looks in the meantime. Sandhagen lands 6.15 significant strikes per minute to Vera’s just 4.28. Over the course of a five round fight that would average out to 153.75 significant strikes to 107 for Vera. The only problem there, Vera has been outstruck by his opponent in each of his last three fights. His power truly is an equalizer, scoring a combined seven knockdowns in the three fights. 

My official prediction for this fight is Vera inside the distance or Sandhagen by decision. I believe Vera has the power on the feet and the submission skills on the ground to hand Sandhagen his second career loss inside the distance. However, if he does fail to get that finish within the 25 minutes, I believe he will have lost rounds on the cards to the more active Sandhagen. From a betting perspective, I find this to be a volatile matchup for a ML play here and may just sprinkle half-unit on a Chito submission. Personally, I will have all my bets settled before the Main Event so I can sit back and enjoy this write in for Fight of the Night.


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