UFC San Diego’s main event is a real doozy: On one side, we get a fighting savage in Marlon Vera, and on the other, the two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion, Dominick Cruz. The Vera vs Cruz odds favor the former but the latter has won consecutive fights as an underdog. But when a martial arts contest becomes a fight, “Chito” Vera has the advantage.
Vera vs Cruz Fight Info
- Fighters: Marlon Vera (21-7-1) vs Dominick Cruz (24-3-0)
- Location: Pechanga Arena, San Diego, CA
- Broadcast: ESPN
Vera, the Evolving Savage Gets Closer to Gold
We can use plenty of adjectives to describe Vera, tough, gritty, but we like “savage” the most. As one of the most overused terms, Vera encapsulates what it means to be a real savage.
Vera is not domesticated or cultivated. His name on Twitter is him flipping the bird. He swears like a sailor and has called almost every other contender a slew of insults. He is not civilized and is barbaric. Look at his appearance. With an ungroomed beard, tattoos all over his body, and a crude way of speaking, he may just offend folks by how he looks. But most notably, he is a vicious and merciless fighter. He is brutal.
“I just see it as total destruction,” Vera told “MMA Junkie in an interview about his next fight. “How? When? I don’t know what round. Who cares? But he’s going to be down and I’m going to move forward.”
The Ecuadorian does not just beat his opponents. He breaks them. Vera left Rob Font a bloody mess in his most recent fight. He turned former champion Frankie Edgar’s face into pudding with a front kick. And he beat Sean O’Malley so hard, the guy went around talking about fighting easier fights.
Vera started out as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Many of his early victories came on the mat. But he’s evolved over time and has since become one of the nastiest Muay Thai strikers in the UFC. This constant growth, paired with his activity, is why the Vera vs Cruz odds favor him over the former champ.
We bet on UFC fight here, not martial arts competitions. When the octagon’s doors lock, opponents must deal with an aggressive and tireless fighter in Vera. He may give up the first round, but as the fight grows longer, he gets stronger.
And with Cruz being Vera’s 20th fight, he is finally on the cusp of a title shot. God only knows what we see from Vera when the savage becomes the king.
Cruz Still Has one Title Run Left in Him
One man who knows all about being a king is Cruz. Not only has Cruz reigned for several years, but he knows what it’s like to lose his title and win it back. The “Dominator” is still considered by many as the greatest 135-pound fighter to grace the octagon. He holds wins over legends like Urijah Faber and T.J. Dillashaw.
Entering his fight close to a 2-1 underdog per the UFC Fight Night betting odds, Cruz has added incentive to prove everyone wrong. He’s always been one to go against the grain whether even as an analyst. Ruffling feathers is second nature to the two-time champion.
But as a fighter, Cruz still has plenty left in the tank. He’s still the same type of fighter as in 2011 when he debuted in the UFC. He popularized the focus on footwork and movement. Cruz confounds his opponents and he is notoriously hard to hit as evidenced by his 71 percent striking defense.
Cruz edged both Pedro Munhoz and Casey Kenney as an underdog. He got dropped by Munhoz twice but found a way to win. At 37 years old, Cruz is not as durable or virile as he used to be. But he’s still as sharp mentally and can outwit even the younger and faster fighters.
With a name that still holds weight, Cruz may just get another crack at the belt should he definitively beat Vera. The Vera vs Cruz odds may not favor him, but it only adds to his legacy if he can overcome this hurdle.Follow us on Twitter