UFC San Diego Predictions, Odds and Results: Vera vs Cruz

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UFC San Diego Predictions, Odds and Results: Vera vs Cruz

Pintsized Background

The UFC sets off for a non-PPV, non-Apex fight card – glorious days. UFC San Diego features an intriguing main event between gatekeeper-turned-prospect, Chito Vera, aiming to thwart Cruz’s returning title charge. Sneaking in the co-main event, Nate Landwehr rears his ugly head. David Onama is a brutal, bloody striker yet Landwehr’s attritional is the perfect litmus paper test.

UFC San Diego’s featured preliminary involves some strange betting lines. Angela Hill has regularly shown vulnerability to chain wrestlers over her career, Lupita Godinez is pintsized and also couldn’t lay down a wrestling-centric game plan against Luana Carolina. The other prelim pick is Ode Osbourne and Tyson Nam – a promising counter-striking affair between Flyweights who carry plus power.

Where/When is UFC San Diego taking place:
August 13, 2022. Pechanga Arena. San Diego, United States.

What time does UFC San Diego start:
🇬🇧 UK: 9pm / 🇺🇸 US ET: 4pm

What channel is UFC San Diego on:
🇬🇧 UK: BT Sports / 🇺🇸 US: ESPN+

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If you're not a Tyson Nam fan, you can get out of my face | UFC San Diego Predictions
If you’re not a Tyson Nam fan, you can get out of my face

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UFC San Diego Picks & Odds

UFC San Diego Fights & OddsWinnerMethodRound
Dominick Cruz (+190)
Marlon Vera (-225)
CruzDecision/
David Onama (-275)
Nate Landwehr (+230)
OnamaTKO2
Iasmin Lucindo (+180)
Yazmin Jauregui (-210)
JaureguiDecision/
Azamat Murzakanov (-150)
Devin Clark (+130)
MurzakanovTKO2
Ariane Lipski (-210)
Priscila Caochoeira (+180)
LipskiDecision/
Bruno Silva (-285)
Gerald Meerschaert (+240)
SilvaTKO2
Angela HIll (+245)
Lupita Godinez (-295)
HillDecision/
Lukasz Brzeski (+220)
Martin Buday (-260)
BudayTKO3
Cynthia Calvillo (-170)
Nina Nunes (+145)
NunesDecision/
Charlie Ontiveros (+295)
Gabriel Benitez (-360)
OntiverosTKO1
Ode Osbourne (-245)
Tyson Nam (+205)
OsbourneDecision/
Jason Witt (+205)
Josh Quinlan (-245)
QuinlanTKO2
Da’mon Blackshear (+105)
Youssef Zalal (-125)
ZalalDecision/
Odds are based on BestFightOdds.com. All odds of 10 August 2022.

UFC San Diego: Main Event

Marlon Vera vs Dominick Cruz

Bantamweight (135)

Marlon Vera (21-7-1)

Just how far has Marlon Vera matured since his arse-whopping to Jose Aldo at the close of 2020? Vera is a huge Bantamweight and never looked close to tiring. Cruz has a long injury list and lacks the pop to his strikes to crack Vera’s granite chin. The confidence that Vera has oozed over 2021-2022 leaves me to believe that Vera will be comfortable eating Cruz’s loopy, point-scoring strikes while waiting for the perfect combination.

The issues with Vera’s game stem from two types of fighters. Opponents who can handle pressure and operate off the back-foot (i.e. Aldo, Douglas Silva de Andrade) or fighters who can out-muscle Vera at his own game (John Linekar, Yadong Song). Cruz awkwardly lingers between the two. Cruz will continue to move and set traps for Vera – yet he is slowing with age and increasingly looks hurt by shots that wouldn’t have registered in the past.

Dominick Cruz (24-3)

Since Cruz’s crushing back-to-back losses against Cody Garbrandt and Henry Cejudo, part of the sparkle has been missing. Cruz remains an awkward mover and exceptionally wise at snatching rounds by edging activity. There is a drop-off in explosiveness, yet the Dominator digs deep into his vast cardio to spread his pace more evenly across rounds.

Once upon a time, grappling was the bread and butter of Cruz’s game. Victories over Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz highlight a shift in the game plan. While Cruz still attempts regular takedowns, they are rarely pursued to the mat. Against Chito Vera, there is always the pathway to the ground, however. The Ecuadorian is a slow starter and can be coaxed into extended grappling exchanges off his back – red flags against a consummate game planner.

Predicted Result: Cruz Decision

Once upon a time, grappling was the bread and butter of Cruz’s game. While Cruz still attempts regular takedowns, they are rarely pursued to the mat. Against Chito Vera, there is always the pathway to the ground, however. The Ecuadorian is a slow starter and can be coaxed into extended grappling exchanges off his back – red flags against a consummate game planner.

Still, the confidence that Vera has oozed over 2021-2022 leaves me to believe that Vera will be comfortable eating Cruz’s loopy, point-scoring strikes while waiting for the perfect combination. Cruz is on borrowed time during the twilight of his career, he is slowing with age and increasingly looks hurt by shots that wouldn’t have registered in the past. At thirty-seven years old, I’m backing Cruz as it is a stylistic dream, even with the long injury list.

Result: Vera def. Cruz // KO (head kick) Round 4 2:17

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Does Dominick Cruz still have enough in the tank for a title shot? | UFC San Diego Predictions
Does Dominick Cruz still have enough in the tank for a title shot?

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UFC San Diego: Co-Main Event

David Onama vs Nate Landwehr

Featherweight (145)

David Onama (10-1)

Nate Train is back baby, choo choo. Fair play to Landwehr, his grinding attritional gameplan kept L’udovit Klein pinned to the cage and eventually broke the Slovak. There is also a decent counter-striking game that caught both Klein and Darren Elkins by surprise. Unfortunately for Landwehr, he lacks the chin to force wars on the inside and create opportunities to grapple. An excellent fight that will make or break Onama.

Nate Landwehr (15-4)

Nate Train is back baby, choo choo. Fair play to Landwehr, his grinding attritional gameplan kept L’udovit Klein pinned to the cage and eventually broke the Slovak. There is also a decent counter-striking game that caught both Klein and Darren Elkins by surprise. Unfortunately for Landwehr, he lacks the chin to force wars on the inside and create opportunities to grapple. An excellent fight that will make or break Onama.

Predicted Result: Onama TKO Round 2

Landwehr’s grinding attritional gameplan broke L’udovit Klein against the cage. There is also a decent counter-striking game that caught both Klein and Darren Elkins by surprise. Unfortunately for Landwehr, he lacks the chin to force wars on the inside and create opportunities to grapple. Nate Train’s pressure could cause Onama to technically unravel as he attempts to maintain a comfortable striking distance. More likely is that the Ugandan’s plus power eventually catches an overzealous Landwehr.

Result: Landwehr def. Onama // Decision (majority – 28-28, 29-27, 29-27)

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Will Onama be given the time needed to sharpen out his fundamentals? | UFC San Diego Predictions
Will Onama be given the time needed to sharpen out his fundamentals?

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UFC San Diego: Main Card

Yazmin Jauregui vs Iasmin Lucindo

Women’s Strawweight (115)

Yazmin Jauregui (8-0)

Gotta level with you chief, how does this earn a Main Card spot? Two Strawweight UFC debutants, Jauregui represents the more educated fighter. Jauregui is confident on the outside, regularly resetting her feet to reestablish her preferred distance. Lucindo has an advantage in the clinch and there are opportunities where Jauregui has her feet planted – yet Jauregui’s scrambles have so far seemed satisfactory.

Iasmin Lucindo (13-4)

Despite owning the deeper record on paper, many of Lucindo’s most recent wins stem from the very worst of the Brazilian regional scene. Lucindo is only twenty years old, however, and could certainly stick around the UFC a while to refine her skill set. Currently, Lucindo builds her game off of crafty inside boxing and clinch work – but at Women’s Strawweight, that’s often enough.

Predicted Result: Jauregui Decision

Two Strawweight UFC debutants, Jauregui represents the more educated fighter. Jauregui is confident on the outside, regularly resetting her feet to reestablish her preferred distance. Lucindo’s game is limited to crafty inside boxing and clinch work – but at Women’s Strawweight, that’s often enough. Jauregui is a strong scrambler, however, and should execute the cleaner work to sweep the scorecards.

Result: Jauregui def. Lucindo // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Devin Clark vs Azamat Murzakanov

Light Heavyweight (205)

Devin Clark (13-6)

Brown Bear successfully dipped his toes into Heavyweight with a brutal third-round TKO over William Knight. More technically polished than Azamat Murzakanov, Clark’s major worry will be his chin. Murzakanov is a relentless force who remains unwavering in his search for the finish. Despite Clark’s technical superiority, he has been overwhelmed by the likes of Ion Cutelaba and Ryan Spann.

Azamat Murzakanov (11-0)

Despite the highlight reel finish over Tafon Nchukwi, it must be remembered that Murzakanov was engaged in a toe-to-toe war for much of their bout. Clark is an exceptional athlete, yet he lacks the tools to punish Murzakanov’s periods of staticity. Eventually, Clark will throw a naked kick and Murzakanov will snap into a trademark power counter.

Predicted Result: Murzakanov TKO Round 2

Clark is an exceptional athlete, yet he lacks the tools to punish Murzakanov’s periods of staticity. Not to say that Murzakanov is technically polished, far from it. Yet despite Clark’s technical superiority, he has been overwhelmed by the likes of Ion Cutelaba and Ryan Spann. Eventually, Clark will throw a naked kick or loose strike and allow Murzakanov to snap into a trademark power counter.

Result: Murzakanov def. Clark // TKO (punches) Round 3 1:18

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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Ariane Lipski vs Priscila Cachoeira

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Ariane Lipski (14-7)

Is Ariane Lipski finally on the path to a career rebuild? Lipski has matured since her humbling to Joanne Wood. Against Bohm, Lipski was far more confident in setting a methodical pace and denying Bohm the attempt to go strike-for-strike. The same gameplan has to be utilised against Cachoeira, a heavy-handed yet technically devoid striker.

Priscila Cachoeira (11-4)

Cachoeira should have been cut after the pathetic eye-gouge attempt. Zombie Girl does live up to her name as a walking punch bag, but it’s also sad that this division rewards meathead brawling. Cachoeira is a far more consistent fighter, so it’s never off the cards that Lipski suffers another career brainfart.

Predicted Result: Lipski Decision

Lipski has matured since her humbling to Joanne Wood. Against Bohm, Lipski was far more confident in setting a methodical pace and denying Bohm the attempt to go strike-for-strike. The same gameplan has to be utilised against Cachoeira, a heavy-handed yet technically devoid striker. The only worry is Lipski’s career inconsistency – Cachoeira, for all her flaws, is one of the most consistent fighters on the books.

Result: Cachoeira def. Lipski // TKO (punches) Round 1 1:05

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Gerald Meerschaert vs Bruno Silva

Middleweight (185)

Gerald Meerschaert (34-15)

Unsurprisingly, Meerschart was unable to find a ‘get out’ clause against the insanely consistent (and boring) Krzysztof Jotko. Silva is a fearsome power puncher and could replicate Chimaev’s seventeen-second chinning. The Brazilian is also error-prone, however, and Meerschaert is a serpent on the mat. GM3 owns the heart but lacks the durability to eventually punish Silva on the mat.

Bruno Silva (22-7)

No matter the craftiness of Meerschaert’s straight counter-punching, Silva owns lights-out power that will eventually catch the flat-footed grappler. Silva is by no means a technical savant, yet he needn’t be if the UFC offers kind match-making. Sadly, Meerschaert lacks the wrestling chops to put doubt in Silva’s mind on the feet – not that the Brazilian would change his game plan anyway.

Predicted Result: Silva TKO Round 1

No matter the craftiness of Meerschaert’s straight counter-punching, Silva owns lights-out power that will eventually catch the flat-footed grappler. Sadly, Meerschaert lacks the wrestling chops to put doubt in Silva’s mind on the feet – not that the Brazilian would change his game plan anyway. Silva is error-prone, so there is always the possibility that he bundles himself to the mat, but GM3’s waning durability is the biggest red flag.

Result: Meerschaert def. Silva // Submission (guillotine choke) Round 3 1:39

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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UFC San Diego: Preliminary Card

Angela Hill vs Lupita Godinez

Women’s Catchweight (120)

Angela Hill (13-12)

Can Hill stop Godinez from chain-wrestling her way to victory? Hill can be a flashy unorthodox striker at times, but there are consistent fundamentals behind much of her striking on the outside. Godinez was pieced apart by Luana Carolina, while Hill’s mastery of angles will bamboozle Godinez. There is a slowing gas tank, however, and a career history of being out-grappled.

Lupita Godinez (8-2)

Despite every victory that Godinez racks up, her loss to Luana Carolina will continue to be a black mark. Godinez will run head-first into Hill, safe in the knowledge that her chin should hold up early against Hill’s volume combinations. Hill owns a slighter frame than Luana Carolina, however, and should prove less of an athletic hurdle to takedown.

Predicted Result: Hill Decision

Can Hill stop Godinez from chain-wrestling her way to victory? Godinez was pieced apart by Luana Carolina, while Hill’s mastery of angles will bamboozle Godinez. There is a slowing gas tank, however, and a career history of being out-grappled. Add in that Hill represents less of an athletic hurdle to takedown and Godinez has to be favoured. Hill has at times shown adequate TDD against superior wrestlers.

Result: Hill def. Godinez // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Lukasz Brzeski vs Martin Buday

Heavyweight (265)

Lukasz Brzeski (8-1-1)

Wakey wakey, eggs and Brzeski. The Eastern European regional Heavyweight struggled to find fights over COVID before finishing his DWCS debut with a no contest. This match-up stinks of a regional main event, with neither fighter owning the ‘IT’ factor. There’s a little more natural reactiveness to Brzeski’s game, but not to the extent that I would mention if only I didn’t see anything else notable to the Pole’s game.

Martin Buday (10-1)

Buday owns a proper Heavyweight physique, with ridiculous durability to boot. As expected, Buday was capable of digging deep against Chris Barnett and winning off the back of more consistent activity. The Slovak sets a consistent pace despite his massive frame, which should prove enough for low-quality Heavyweight bouts.

Predicted Result: Buday TKO Round 3

Buday owns a proper Heavyweight physique, with ridiculous durability to boot. As expected, Buday was capable of digging deep against Chris Barnett and winning off the back of more consistent activity. Brzeski’s edges Buday regarding dynamism and natural fluidity, yet the Pole gasses late in fights and will be unable to fight his preferred fight.

Result: Buday def. Brzeski // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Nina Nunes vs Cynthia Calvillo

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Nina Nunes (10-7)

Nina Nunes has faced difficult stylistic match-ups in her past two fights. Nunes has always suffered on the mat and it just so happens that the UFC has chucked her in with two of the best on the mat. If Calvillo opts to pursue a ground-based war, it could be interesting. As Calvillo is adamant about striking her way back to form, it’ll make it a more equal affair with Nunes’ pressure and volume likely to claim rounds on the scorecards.

Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1)

A loser leaves town sort of fight. From the main event victory over Jessica Eye to a three-fight slide. You have to strain to remember a time when Calvillo was considered a lukewarm prospect, but hey, it happened! There has been no improvement to Calvillo’s game, with the blueprint truly figured out by not. Calvillo can be dragged into a war on the feet and will ignore her strong grappling base.

Predicted Result: Nunes Decision

Calvillo can be dragged into a war on the feet and will ignore her strong grappling base. Nunes has always suffered on the mat and it just so happens that the UFC has chucked her in with two of the best on the mat. If Calvillo pursues aims to grapple, this could be interesting. Recent fights indicate that Calvillo is adamant about striking her way back to form, allowing Nunes’ pressure and volume to claim rounds on the scorecards.

Result: Nunes def. Calvillo // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Gabriel Benitez vs Charlie Ontiveros

Lightweight (155)

Gabriel Benitez (22-10)

This has all the trappings of FOTN. Benitez finds himself on a rough 1-4 slide since 2019, yet the Mexican remains a brutal body kicker. Both Benitez and Ontiveros’ paper-thin durability ensures that any strike could be the finishing blow. Benitez’s drop in speed has seen him caught whilst committing to heavy kicks, with Ontiveros’ reach long enough to punish the veteran.

Charlie Ontiveros (11-8)

I hope the UFC doesn’t cut the American Bad Boy. Ontiveros is a dynamic, explosive striker with plus speed and the intent to kill. Eventually, opponents can adjust to the pressure by the mid-point of the first round. Benitez, however, is at the perfect stage of his career to act as the dance partner in a kill-or-be-killed affair.

Predicted Result: Ontiveros TKO Round 1

The spiciest pick of the fight card. Benitez and Ontiveros’ paper-thin durability ensures that any strike could be the finishing blow. Benitez’s drop in speed has seen him caught whilst committing to heavy kicks, with Ontiveros’ reach long enough to punish the veteran. Still, opponents can adjust to Ontiveros’ pressure by the mid-point of the first round. The Mexican’s ripping bodywork is safer to back at the fight ender, yet I have a soft spot for the complete mess that is Ontiveros’ all-action offence.

Result: Benitez def. Ontiveros // TKO (punches) Round 1 3:35

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Ode Osbourne vs Tyson Nam

Flyweight (125)

Ode Osbourne (11-4)

Mr Speed. Osbourne’s questionable durability is a worry against the heavy hands of Nam. The fast-twitch striker often beats opponents to the punch, yet Nam has a track record of eating one to deliver one. If the Jamaican could start to mask his entries, his athletic edge can keep up with anyone in the division.

Tyson Nam (20-12-1)

Nam will be happy to sit on the outside and draw Osbourne into wild openings. Lethal accuracy ensures that Nam chin checks almost every opponent he comes across. Osbourne’s greater reach and activity could neutralise Nam, however, as the Hawaiian can struggle to adapt if his slim array of counters proves inadequate.

Predicted Result: Osbourne Decision

Osbourne’s questionable durability is a worry against the heavy hands of Nam. The fast-twitch striker often beats opponents to the punch, yet Nam has a track record of eating one to deliver one. If the Jamaican could start to mask his entries, his athletic edge can keep up with anyone in the division. Considering Nam’s time on the sidelines and Osbourne’s activity, I’m favouring the latter in a razor-close affair.

Result: Nam def. Osbourne // KO (punches) Round 1 2:59

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Jason Witt vs Josh Quinlan

Welterweight (170)

Jason Witt (19-8)

Opponents need to knock Jason Witt out or he will dig deep to wrestle-box his way to a decision. Witt lacks the speed or physical prowess to overpower opponents, while his chin is increasingly deteriorating. If Quinlan can’t earn Witt’s respect early with his hands, the veteran’s exhausting wrestling will provide a rude awakening.

Josh Quinlan (5-0)

PEDs issues in the build-up to Quinlan’s UFC debut have sullied his emergence – is he still a phenomenal athlete off the sauce? There is controlled aggression behind Quinlan’s punches, with enough intensity to torch Witt’s chin. One issue is Quinlan’s tendency to walk into his straight punches, squaring up in a manner that will offer Witt the opportunity to wrestle.

Predicted Result: Quinlan TKO Round 2

PEDs issues in the build-up to Quinlan’s UFC debut have sullied his emergence – is he still a phenomenal athlete off the sauce? One issue is Quinlan’s tendency to walk into his straight punches, squaring up in a manner that will offer Witt the opportunity to wrestle. The veteran’s chin issues will provide a pathway to victory, however, as he lacks the speed or physical prowess to overpower opponents.

Result: Quinlan def. Witt // KO (punch) Round 1 2:09

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Youssef Zalal vs Da’Mon Blackshear

Bantamweight (135)

Youssef Zalal (10-5)

Zalal was one of the bright sparks to appear during the early COVID era of ‘sign any fighter to fill cards’. The Moroccan showcased smart, patient counter-striking with a hint of wild explosiveness in his back pocket. Cue a three-fight slide against solid competition. Zalal’s hype train has been given one last chance to choke back to life with a huge drop in opposition quality. A drop down to Bantamweight should hopefully see Zalal less likely to be manhandled against the cage.

Da’Mon Blackshear (12-4)

Blackshear is a high-octane wrestler but he will be at a disadvantage in the grappling department against Zalal. Da’Mon is an explosive one-shot striker, yet against Zalal who will happily sit at range, it is unlikely to catch him by surprise. Without the technical consistency or the superiority on the mat, Blackshear will have to create a messy fight or hope that Zalal’s weight cut to 135lb is too much.

Predicted Result: Zalal Decision

Without the technical consistency or the superiority on the mat, Blackshear will have to create a messy fight or hope that Zalal’s weight cut to 135lb is too much. This is the last chance for Zalal’s hype train to choke back to life. Blackshear can throw up the odd explosive strike on the feet, yet Zalal’s comfort on the outside should neutralise any serious threat.

Result: Draw (majority – 29-28, 28-28, 28-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Prediction Accuracy

UFC San Diego

Winner: 6/13

Method: 7/13

Round: 5/13

2022 MMA Season

Winner: 217/338

Method: 161/338

Round: 138/338

MMA Overall

Winner: 713/1130

Method: 483/1130

Round: 462/1130

Takeaway comments: Big respek to Dommy Cruz.


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