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Last Updated Aug 14, 2022, 8:39 PM

UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Cruz Picks, Predictions, Odds

Two-time UFC Bantamweight Championship winner Dominick Cruz is hoping to climb the mountaintop one last time. The oft-injured Cruz has won two straight fights since losing to Henry Cejudo at UFC 249 over two years ago. A win over Marlon Vera on Saturday night would likely lead to a Top 5 ranking for Cruz and could set up one more chance at a title. Cruz will benefit from having the crowd at his back as a San Diego native, but he is still a moderate underdog by the UFC betting odds.

UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Hill will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. The prelims will start at 4 p.m. ET with the main card getting underway at 7 p.m. ET, and the whole promotion can be seen on ESPN or ESPN+.

(Getty Images)

Marlon Vera vs. Dominick Cruz Picks

Dominick Cruz is 24-3 in his MMA career, but he has only fought seven times over the last 11 years because of various injuries. Cruz has torn his ACL three times, torn his groin, broken his hand, broken his arm, injured his shoulder, and he suffers from plantar fasciitis. Those injuries led to a three-year layoff from 2011 to 2014, a 15-month layoff, and a three-and-a-half-year layoff from 2016 to 2020.

The only three losses of Cruz’s career have been to champions though. He lost to Urijah Faber in the WEC, and he was defeated by Cody Garbrandt and Henry Cejudo with the UFC Bantamweight Championship on the line. Cruz has earned numerous bonuses over his career, and he usually delivers although 17 of his 27 fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards.

Marlon Vera is looking to make his first title challenge soon. Vera has won three straight fights after a loss to Jose Aldo, and he earned bonuses for each of those victories. He is 9-2 in his last 11 fights, but his best win so far has been against Rob Font.

It makes sense why Vera is the favorite, but Cruz has the pedigree and has more than a fighting chance here.

To Win Fight: Dominick Cruz (+180)
Total Rounds: Over 4.5 (-188)

Devin Clark vs. Azamat Murzakanov Picks

This will be the second UFC bout for 11-0 Azamat Murzakanov. The 35-year-old light heavyweight has not had a lot of MMA experience, and he has taken long breaks between fights at points of his career. However, Murzakanov is a favorite over promotion veteran Devin Clark on Saturday.

Clark is 7-6 in his UFC career. He doesn’t have any great wins, and he only recently earned his first UFC finish as his previous six wins in the promotion came by unanimous decision. Clark has been susceptible to power and ground skills with five of his six losses in the UFC coming by either submission or knockout.

There is some buzz about Murzakanov, and this is a good fight for him given his opponent’s track record. If you are going to bet Clark, it’s best to bet him by decision, but I’ll take the favorite to win inside the distance.

To Win Fight: Azamat Murzakanov (-160)
Total Rounds: Under 2.5 (-150)

Priscila Cachoeira vs. Ariane Lipski Picks

Brazilians Priscilla Cachoeira and Ariane Lipski will square off in the second fight on the main card this week. Cachoeira is 3-4 in her UFC career to this point, and she is in need of a win given her issues out of the Octagon. She has won three of her last four fights, and she earned bonuses in two of her victories.

Lipski has lost two of her last three fights. She is also 3-4 in her UFC career, and she has only won one bonus for her performance. That makes Cachoeira worth a shot as a sizable underdog here in a fight that will very likely be decided by the judges.

To Win Fight:  Priscila Cachoeira (+162)
Total Rounds: Over 1.5 (-175)

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