UFC San Antonio: Vera vs. Sandhagen Main Event Prediction
UFC SAN ANTONIO: VERA VS. SANDHAGEN MAIN EVENT PREDICTION – Long spoken as the best and most talent-packed division in the UFC, the bantamweights put on another banger of a main event between two all-action fighters vying to get into title contention.
Marlon Vera looks to tie his longest UFC win-streak this weekend while leaving no doubt that he deserves the next title shot.
Former title challenger, Cory Sandhagen, looks to reassert himself as a number one contender.
Will “Chito” continue his climb to the top of the division? Or will Sandhagen triumph and stake his claim to the gold once again? Read on to find out how these two stack up against one another and if there are any money making opportunities.
We’ve seen Vera grow up in front of our eyes in the UFC for the last 8.5 years. Many never expected him to get to this level and beat the names he has beaten over his last couple of fights.
He has matured into a methodical finisher who continues to yell from the rooftops that he deserves the next title shot. He never turns down a challenge and usually finds a way to get his hand raised against all of them.
Had he not gotten stuck in a bad position in the third round against Aldo, he may have a win against that legend too. Over his last three fights alone, he has defeated high level fighters like Frankie Edgar, Rob Font, and Dominick Cruz. Although the first and third names may be closer to the twilight of their career, they are still respectable wins.
At his best, Vera downloads data on his opponents through the first five to six minutes of a fight then turns it on and finds ways to hurt them badly.
He is definitely a slow starter, but has managed to find a way to turn it on soon enough to still get his hand raised. A lot of his wins are reliant on finished or knockdowns, like the Rob Font fight.
Many didn’t think he could win a decision but he hurt Font at opportune moments even though he got out-struck by 111 significant strikes he still landed 3 knockdowns and got the nod from the judges.
Sometimes this style can come back and bite you in the ass if you aren’t able to produce those knockdowns or significant moments, but it’s worked out for him thus far.
Since making his UFC debut back in 2018, the hype on Sandhagen was real. Sandhagen showcased it with a five fight winning streak that included wins over veterans like John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao.
He has split his following six fights, although they were against very high-level talent. UFC fans have viewed him as the best kept secret out of Colorado, but people really started to take notice and now he has more than received his flowers.
He came up short in his lone title shot against Petr Yan, but can you blame the guy?
The Unorthodox Style
Sandhagen has an unorthodox striking style that makes it difficult for opponents to get a beat on him.
He loves to kick from distance and crash the pocket with strikes from different angles. He has a very aggressive Brazilian jiu jitsu game that opens up reversal or get up opportunities for him.
I’d say the best part of his game is his cardio, as he weaponizes it with high output early so that he can take over later when his opponent starts to slow down. He either uses it with a lot of strikes and forward pressure or by engaging in grappling sequences to force his opponent to work.
Now with a plethora of experience under his belt, rising to the top and falling a couple pegs, I think Sandhagen has learned from it all and can apply it to another successful run to a title shot.
I’ll start by saying I haven’t had the best track record betting Marlon Vera fights. The last one I successfully called was the Jose Aldo fight. That means I’m 0-4 over his last four fights.
I expected the higher output fighters to get the better of him, but he always found a way to dismantle or finish them. Now I think we have the best fighter out of that last crop as well as one that is currently in his prime still to go out there and carry out the game plan the others could not.
I expect Sandhagen to keep up a pace and output that Vera will be unable to match, nor will he be able to catch Sandhagen slipping and take advantage of it with a knockdown or knockout.
Vera’s cardio is just as good, so I don’t expect Sandhagen to completely run away with this fight late. Given Vera’s slow starting style, Sandhagen should be up early and be more than competitive enough to notch at least one of the last three rounds.