UFC San Diego Fight Breakdown: Marlon Vera vs. Dominick Cruz


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC San Diego, a five-round bantamweight bout between Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz. The event takes place on Saturday, August 13 at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

Marlon Vera (-225)

Vera (19-7-1) is the No. 5 ranked bantamweight in the UFC bantamweight division. The 29-year-old Ecuador native joined the UFC back in 2014 and is 13-6-1 overall in the Octagon. He has been hot in recent years, having won his last three fights against Rob Font, Frankie Edgar, and Davey Grant. Vera has tremendous striking skills and his grappling is improving as well. He has tremendous cardio and pushes a heavy pace against his opponents. He does have flaws in that he gets hit too easily and he can be taken down, but overall it feels like he has leveled up in recent years. If he gets by Cruz in this matchup, there is a good chance he could be next in line for a title shot at 135lbs.

Dominick Cruz (+190)

Cruz (24-3) is the No. 8 ranked fighter in the UFC bantamweight division. The 37-year-old American first joined the UFC in 2012 and since then he has racked up an impressive 7-2 record in the Octagon while being a two-time UFC bantamweight champion. Cruz has fought the best of the best his entire MMA career, with some of his most notable victories coming over Demetrious Johnson, Urijah Faber, and TJ Dillashaw. The problem is he has been derailed by injuries and missed a lot of time during the prime of his career. Since returning in 2020, he is 2-1 and he has looked solid, but time is not in his favor. Cruz is a great fighter who has strong wrestling and excellent striking, not to mention some of the best conditioning in the weight class, but he is taking on a young savage now in Vera. For Cruz to win, he might have to fight the perfect fight. So for him to up against an ultra-aggressive striker like Vera who matches him in terms of cardio might prove to be a tough matchup.

Fight Breakdown: This should be a good fight between the former two-time UFC bantamweight champion Cruz and one of the best current fighters in the division in the form of Vera. However, I feel pretty strongly that Vera will get his hand raised and win the fight. At age 37, I believe Cruz has seen better days, while at age 29, Vera is right in the prime of his career right now. Cruz is certainly an experienced veteran who has been there and done that, but I believe Vera is catching him at the right point in his MMA career. Vera has looked phenomenal as of late, and I expect him to defeat Cruz and march closer to getting a UFC bantamweight title shot. Cruz is notoriously durable, but Vera has the power to hurt him. Over the course of five rounds, I believe the damage that Vera inflicts will add up and it will sway the judges in his direction. Look for Vera to land the bigger blows during the fight and do enough to win more rounds on the judges’ scorecards to take the decision.

Prediction: Marlon Vera

Written by Adam Martin.


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