Tag Archives: UFC San Diego

UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz – Main card predictions

The UFC heads to San Diego, California for a bantamweight banger in the main event between Marlon Vera and former champion Dominick Cruz.

A 13-fight card that has got plenty of fire match ups on it is headlined by the two contenders in the 135-pound division, where a win could put them firmly in title contention for early 2023.

Last week a UFC Vegas 59 we went 7/10 with one perfect pick, moving to 690/1069 (64.55%) with 292 perfect picks (42.32%). You can see our full picks history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims and then moving on to the rest of the prelims picks, we finish up with our main card picks.


Bruno Silva (22-7) vs Gerald Meerschaert (34-15) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

If this fight goes the distance, I’ll eat my hat. Silva is a knockout artist with 19 wins via KO, including each of his last seven wins. His last win came over Jordan Wright at UFC 269 in just 88 seconds, although he lost his last fight to Alex Pereira via decision. Meerschaert is a stunning jiu-jitsu practitioner with 26 submission wins, including his last three although he also lost his last fight via decision.

Silva is an absolute powerhouse, stepping forward with pressure and lethal boxing combinations to send you into orbit. Meerschaert on the other hand is a brilliant grappler who wants the fight on the mat ASAP, because his striking is absolutely awful. The way this fight goes depends on if his chin holds up.

My bet is that it absolutely won’t. Silva is capable of eating big shots himself and Meerschaert isn’t the most powerful, so he’ll likely be open to taking one to give one. His grappling isn’t useless too and while he’s not on the same level “GM3”, he will be able to hold his own somewhat. It won’t get there though, because Silva takes his head off in the first.
PICK – Bruno Silva via Knockout, Round 1

Priscila Cachoeira (11-4) vs Ariane Lipski (14-7) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A very interesting women’s flyweight bout opens up the main card here. Lipski snapped a two-fight losing streak after KO defeats to Antonina Shevchenko (UFC 255) and Montana De La Rosa (UFC Vegas 28) when she beat Mandy Bohm last time out. Cachoeira has won three of her last four with KO wins over Shana Dobson (UFC Vegas 14) and Gina Mazany (UFC 262) as well as a decision last time out against Ji Yeon Kim. She was beaten by Gillian Robertson in the middle of that at UFC 269 via first-round submission.

Lipski is an effective Muay Thai striker with excellent technique, but her power is lacking and she tends to be relatively hesitant to throw. Cachoeira is the opposite, with incredible power and wild technique as she marches forward and takes one to give two. Lipski is by far the more technical, but that means little if she can’t keep Cachoeira away from her as she throws bombs.

Cachoeira will move forward through the lack of power and look to blast her head off with elbows and hooks. If they clinch then Cachoeira is big and strong enough to break away and if it goes to the ground then the Brazilian has the advantage there too. If it’s clean and tidy then Lipski has a chance, but Cachoeira fights rarely are so expect a nasty win.
PICK – Priscila Cachoeira via Knockout, Round 2

Devin Clark (13-6) vs Azamat Murzakanov (11-0) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

Light heavyweights go head-to-head in this one up next. Clark bounced back from two consecutive defeats to earn a knockout win over William Knight in his last bout, while Murzakanov is an unbeaten fighter with a flying knee KO win over Tafon Nchukwi in his UFC debut.

Clark is a classic wrestler, who will look to close distance and get on top of you on the mat to control you for 15 minutes. Eight of his 13 career wins have come via the judges. Murzakanov on the other hand is a wild man with incredible strking power, with eight wins via knockout in his career. This is a classic wrestler vs striker fight, but for once I favour the striker.

Clark has struggled big time in the past if he can’t get his wrestling going, and his conditioning has never been his greatest strength. Granted this is Murzakanov’s biggest test of his career, but his power means he can change the fight on it’s head in an instant and he’s capable of going for the full 15. He overcomes a tough first round to land big in the second and earn a big KO win.
PICK – Azamat Murzakanov via Knockout, Round 2



Yazmin Jauregui (8-0) vs Jasmin Lucindo (11-4) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

Two women making their UFC debuts on the main card is rare, but this one deserves it. Jauregui is undefeated with six knockout finishes, having made her name in Combate. Lucindo is on a seven-fight win streak with 10 finishes in her career, with three of her last five ending via knockout.

Jauregui is a super talented kickboxer with unbelievable speed and power in her kicks, while her punches carry clean technique and great pop considering the weight division. Lucindo is a grappler by nature with her amazing jiu-jitsu, but she’s also a good wrestler who looks to get into good positions and then rain down ground and pound strikes on her opponent hence the amazing record.

This is a really fun fight in all honesty, especially because both women will be relative unknowns to the majority of the audience. Lucindo will look for a body lock to close the distance and get the fight down, but the speed of Jauregui means she could easily get caught on the counter. Grappling is usually the key though if you can control where the fight goes, but something is telling me Jauregui gets the win here. It’ll be close and entertaining as heck though.
PICK – Yazmin Jauregi via Decision

Nate Landwehr (15-4) vs David Onama (10-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Short-notice co-main event comes together in this one. Landwehr earned a big submission win over Ludovit Klein most recently, to make himself 2-2 in his last four. Onama made it 10 finishes in 10 wins in his career when he stopped Garrett Armfield via submission last month at UFC Vegas 58.

Landwehr is a strong wrestler with excellent submission skills off the mat, despite just one win via tap out in his career. He’s got good power in his hands too, but wrestling is where he tends to go in most of his fights. Onama on the other hand is a tremendous kickboxer with sensational power and speed, as well as picture perfect technique.

Onama needs to keep this simple to win. Keep distance, use his striking to do damage and be focused on avoiding prolonged grappling exchanges. Landwehr needs to make it a gruelling fight where he’s forcing Onama backwards and tiring him out. Onama is such a gifted athlete however and has the striking credentials to be able to do what he needs to do to claim a tidy decision win for the first time in his career.
PICK – David Onama via Decision

Marlon Vera (19-7-1) vs Dominick Cruz (24-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Big time banger at bantamweight headlines this card. Vera is on a great run of three wins in a row since losing to Jose Aldo at UFC Vegas 17, with wins over Davey Grant, Frankie Edgar (UFC 268) and Rob Font most recently. Cruz recovered from his loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC 249 to win his next two, beating both Casey Kenney (UFC 259) and Pedro Munhoz (UFC 269) via decision.

Vera is a super well-rounded fighter, with much improved striking skills on show in recent fights to go with some excellent submissions on the mat too. Cruz is an unorthodox striker with top level wrestling in his back pocket too, with super movement making it hard for opponents to get a read on him. Vera will almost certainly take the centre and pressure Cruz, who will look to counter and manoeuvre away from his opponent.

It will be a really fun and close fight, but it’s hard to go against Vera right now with the improvements he’s shown. He’s powerful, a hard kicker, a good grappler and a quick striker too. Cruz has the experience, but both guys are well matched up skill-wise and Vera is the younger and more physical fighter. Expect fireworks early before a cagey affair that Vera is able to claim on the scorecards by way of the bigger shots and more pressure.
PICK – Marlon Vera via Decision

UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz – Prelims predictions

The UFC heads to San Diego, California for a bantamweight banger in the main event between Marlon Vera and former champion Dominick Cruz.

A 13-fight card that has got plenty of fire match ups on it is headlined by the two contenders in the 135-pound division, where a win could put them firmly in title contention for early 2023.

Last week a UFC Vegas 59 we went 7/10 with one perfect pick, moving to 690/1069 (64.55%) with 292 perfect picks (42.32%). You can see our full picks history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims, we move on to the rest of the prelims picks.


Gabriel Benitez (22-11) vs Charlie Ontiveros (11-8) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A very interesting lightweight scrap up next. Benitez has lost four of his last five, with a KO win over Justin Jaynes sandwiched between losses to Sodiq Yusuff, Omar Morales, Billy Qurantillo and most recently David Onama. Ontiveros on the other hand lost a short notice debut to Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 12, before being KO’d to Steve Garcia most recently.

Benitez is a very tidy striker on the feet with excellent boxing combinations, and he’s also a decent grappler too on his back. Ontiveros is an absolutely huge man standing at 6ft 2 and previously fighting at middleweight, but his striking is decent and he’s the more powerful guy. This is a really weird scrap in reality, but Benitez is clearly the more skilled of the two.

The intangibles in Ontiveros’ game are in his favour for sure, with his size and unorthodox style causing problems for a lot people. But against someone who is a better striker and comfortable on the mat, he can dictate wherever this fight goes and his body work could pay dividends later in the fight to a diminished Ontiveros to claim a stoppage win.
PICK – Gabriel Benitez via Knockout, Round 3

Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1) vs Nina Nunes (10-7) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A fun flyweight bout up next in the final women’s bout of the night. Calvillo started her flyweight career with a win over Jessica Eye (UFC Vegas 2), but has since lost three in a row to Katlyn Chookagian (UFC 255) via decision and then getting KO’d by Jessica Andrade (UFC 266) and a corner stoppage at the end of the second round against Andrea Lee most recently. Nunes on the other hand has lost her last two, with an armbar defeat to Mackenzie Dern most recently in her first bout since becoming a mother.

Calvillo tends to use her striking to set up her wrestling, using her top game to stay heavy on the opponent and land ground and pound strikes. Nunes is an all-rounder who is capable of striking and using her grappling to win fights, but she lacks power and isn’t a natural grappler either.

With that said, Calvillo has really struggled in this weight class. Nunes’ footwork and speed is something that has caused Calvillo problems in previous bouts but Nunes was outwrestled most recently and Calvillo is a strong wrestler. Despite that though, I expect a Nunes win. Her strengths outweigh her weaknesses in relation to her opponent and she should be able to bounce around the cage enough to nullify the wrestling and land some solid strikes to earn the win.
PICK – Nina Nunes via Decision



Martin Buday (10-1) vs Lukasz Brzeski (8-1-1) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

An absolute banger at heavyweight up next. Buday has won nine in a row including a TKO win over Chris Barnett back in April, while Brzeski has won six of his last seven although the most recent was overturned to a no contest on appeal.

Buday is a powerful striker with good combinations on the inside, as well as some good takedown defence to go with his own good wrestling skills. Brzeski on the other hand is someone who likes to push forward and use volume to close distance, before getting a clinch and trying to get top control to work his ground and pound. The big problem for Brzeski is that he’s going to be outweighed by about 30-pounds on fight night.

“Badys” is far bigger, and technically is the more superior striker. Add to that the issues that Brzeski has had with his cardio in the past and the huge size discrepancy I expect Buday will be able to do enough damage to earn a stoppage later in the fight.
PICK – Martin Buday via Knockout, Round 2

Angela Hill (13-12) vs Lupita Godinez (8-2) – (Catchweight/120lbs)

A fun catchweight scrap at 120-pounds in this one for a short-notice scrap. Hill has lost five of her last six, including getting out-grapple by Virna Jandiroba last time out to make it three in a row. Godinez on the other hand has won her last two in a row, earning decisions over Loma Lookboonmee and Ariane Carnelossi most recently at UFC 274.

Hill is a Muay-Thai fighter with great kicks and volume, who is best known for her relentless pressure and the amount she fights every year. Godinez is a grappler who has good wrestling and judo skills and tends to try and smother her opponents on the mat, something Hill has notoriously struggled with in the past.

That makes it a long night for Hill. Godinez will trade on the feet, knowing that Hill doesn’t really have the power to hurt her and will eventually change levels for the takedown then control the fight on the mat from that point. Expect no more than five takedowns over the course of the fight, but plenty of top control for “Loopy” for a comfortable decision win.
PICK – Lupita Godinez via Decision

UFC San Diego: Vera vs Cruz – Early prelims predictions

The UFC heads to San Diego, California for a bantamweight banger in the main event between Marlon Vera and former champion Dominick Cruz.

A 13-fight card that has got plenty of fire match ups on it is headlined by the two contenders in the 135-pound division, where a win could put them firmly in title contention for early 2023.

Last week a UFC Vegas 59 we went 7/10 with one perfect pick, moving to 690/1069 (64.55%) with 292 perfect picks (42.32%). You can see our full picks history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims.


Youssef Zalal (10-5) vs Da’Mon Blackshear (12-4) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A fun bantamweight scrap opens up this card. Zalal has lost his last three fights in a row, dropping decisions to Ilia Topuria (UFC Fight Island 5), Seung Woo Choi (UFC Vegas 18) and Sean Woodson (UFC Vegas 28). Blackshear makes his UFC debut on a four-fight win streak with three submissions in that run.

Zalal’s successes in the UFC have come from solid wrestling and great movement on the feet too, and that bodes really well for him here. Blackshear is a solid submission artist from the top, with eight career tap-out wins, but he is pretty poor at keeping himself from being on the bottom and his striking is woeful at best. Zalal has shown an ability to be able to wrestle and keep opponents grounded, so that’s a clear path to the victory.

It will be really tough for the debutant to get success here, especially on just two weeks’ notice. If he manages to get top control he will be in a great position to control and execute chokes, but Zalal is good defensively and more than comfortable enough on the feet so he should be able to claim a relatively comfortable decision win.
PICK – Youssef Zalal via Decision

Jason Witt (19-8) vs Josh Quinlan (5-0) – (Catchweight/180lbs)

Big time fire-fight up next in a fight that was supposed to take place last week. Witt has lost two of his last three via KO, getting stopped in 16 seconds by Matthew Semelsberger at UFC Vegas 21 and then by Phillip Rowe in February. He earned a majority decision win over Bryan Barbarena in between those fights. Quinlan is an undefeated fighter who has finished all his wins, including a 47 second KO on the Contender Series last time out that got switched to a no contest for a positive drug test.

Witt is a strong wrestler who has good takedowns and solid top control, but has a leaky chin and has been KO’d six times in his professional career to date. Quinlan is a power puncher with excellent Muay Thai skills, but has shown a difficulty in fighting when being pressured backwards in the past. That said though, this looks set up for a Quinlan victory.

“The Renegade” is powerful, fast, strong and accurate which will be way too much for Witt. Quinlan is capable of being taken down, but he’s also more than capable of getting back to his feet and any extended sequence of striking will likely end with Witt staring up at the lights. Expect a statement win from the newcomer with a violent combination.
PICK – Josh Quinlan via Knockout, Round 1



Ode Osbourne (11-4) vs Tyson Nam (20-12-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A very exciting flyweight bout up next. Osbourne bounced back from a flying knee KO against Manel Kape (UFC 265) with consecutive wins over CJ Vergara (UFC 268) and most recently a KO win over Zarrukh Adashev. Nam was beaten via split decision against Matt Schnell back at UFC Fight Island 8, and makes his return after 19 months out.

Osbourne is a very active striker on the feet, but one who has great wrestling and strong submission skills on the mat too. Nam on the other has barely changed over his long career, with good power and low volume often seeing his fights end in a decision that goes against him or a KO win in his favour. That’s not a good thing against someone as explosive and volume heavy as Osbourne.

“The Jamaican Sensation” is unlikely to be too successful with his wrestling in this one with Nam’s takedown defence among the best in the division, but with a five-inch reach advantage and more volume he should easily claim a decision win if he avoids getting his clock cleaned by a big punch.
PICK – Ode Osbourne via Decision