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UFC San Diego: Vera vs. Cruz Predictions and Betting

by | Aug 8, 2022 | Fight Preview

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In this 19th edition of RAPID FIRE QUICK PICKS I will be diving into UFC FIGHT NIGHT: VERA VS CRUZ which appears to be another decent offering from the world’s premier MMA promotion. However this fight night has a tough act to follow in the wake of Vegas 59 which produced a 100% finish rate. 

In terms of my predictions for last week’s UFC Vegas 59 I managed an impressive 8-2 record but the unfortunate irony is that the 2 losses (ZAC PAUGA/ VICENTE LUQUE) were my most confident plays and as such I was over leveraged on them which decimated my DFS lineups. The saving grace was that my money line action mitigated my DFS losses but at the end of the day I still lost $160. It is definitely frustrating to pick winners at an 80% clip and still come up short on the night but fortunately my positive gains for JUNE & JULY far outweigh my losses. I’m still up over 3 grand overall at this point and looking to build on that success. With that in mind these are my insights, picks and my actual bets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: VERA VS CRUZ.



After watching what tape I was able to find on BLACKSHEAR I have to go with ZALAL who is the more proven UFC level commodity in this match up.  However this is a very low confidence read and I totally understand why this fight is lined as a pick ’em. I will not be betting on this fight because I could see ZALAL dropping the ball here but I do think his UFC level experience will ultimately prove to be the deciding factor in this one. BLACKSHEAR appears to have an explosive attack as well as a decent ground game but I think ZALAL will be able to defend and counter effectively to get himself back into the win column. I wish I could give you a more definitive breakdown for this one but I simply don’t know enough about the debuting BLACKSHEAR to make a well informed read here. I’m gonna pick ZALAL for the win but this will be a hard pass from a betting standpoint. 


ODE OSBOURNE-225 (11-4) VS TYSON NAM+180(20-12):

I’m going to be on OSBOURNE in this matchup. He has all the momentum coming into this one and he has looked really good in his last two outings. That said we can never count out NAM’s one punch KO power so I will be proceeding with caution here. However OSBOURNE is the superior, more well rounded fighter in my opinion and he should have NAM covered no matter where this fight goes. I definitely think he is the right side here. I will be using him in a two fighter parlay and I might bet him to win ITD if the odds are worth the squeeze.  This should be an excellent fight for as long as it lasts but I’m inclined to believe that  OSBOURNE will ultimately prevail. 



BENITEZ is on a two fight skid coming into this one and both of those losses were rather violent which has me questioning BENITEZ’S stamina & durability but this is definitely a step down in competition for “Moogly” BENITEZ who is an experienced UFC veteran with an impressive skill set. ONTIVEROS has been little more than a sacrificial lamb thus far in his UFC campaign and I’m not sure that things will be any different when he faces off against BENITEZ. While ONTIVEROS has some unorthodox striking techniques that could catch BENITEZ off guard I struggle to see where he will be able to find any kind of edge here. I’m not usually in the habit of backing fighters who are coming off two devastating KO losses but this strikes me as clear bounce back opportunity for BENITEZ and as such I will probably look to use him in a two fighter parlay and I might bet him to win ITD if the price is right. FDGTD is also good look here in my opinion. Hopefully BENITEZ is able to get back into the win column. I suspect that whoever loses here will almost certainly find himself on thin ice with the promotion. This added pressure should favour BENITEZ and give him more than enough incentive to get it done on fight night. 


MARTIN BUDAY-225 (10-1) VS LUKASZ BRZESKI+180(8-1-1):

Based on the tape I was able to find on BRZESKI I have to go with BUDAY in this match up. Neither fighter seems to have an overwhelming edge here but BUDAY will likely have a slight size advantage and he has already made his debut walk in the UFC which gives him a slight edge in experience. From what I was able to see of BRZESKI seems very game and he is quite tenacious so I’m not counting him out by any means here but I just don’t know enough about him to make an informed decision about this one. I’m picking BUDAY to win here but I’m not confident enough to fade the debuting BRZESKI so I will likely pass altogether on this one. I am expecting a decent fight from both men. 



 I was unable to find the odds for this one but I’m almost certain that GODINEZ will be a sizable betting favorite here. Her last outing against Arianne CARNELOSSI was an absolute clinic in pure MMA domination. GODINEZ has all the attributes and skills of a contender at this point and I expect that she will probably be ranked in the very near future.  While HILL is always a great litmus test for young prospects I think she will be up against it when GODINEZ starts to implement her high level wrestling game.  GODINEZ has shown marked improvements throughout her UFC campaign and she blends all the elements of MMA seamlessly which is always a pleasure to watch,  especially if you are actually betting on her. However HILL has been known to rise to the occasion now and then so I would not be completely shocked if she somehow managed to pull off the upset but in all likelihood this is probably GODINEZ all day and I will be looking to back her if the odds aren’t ridiculously wide.


I’m all over SILVA in this spot. This one gives me OLEKSIEJCZUK/ALVEY vibes if I’m being honest. Of course MEERSCHART is a lot more durable than the aforementioned ALVEY but I’m not sure he will be able to stand up to the crushing power that SILVA brings to the table here.  There is always a chance that MEERSCHART could weather the storm and find one of his patented hail Mary submissions but I honestly think he will be separated from consciousness at some point before the final bell. I will be playing SILVA by KO and I will likely use him in a two fighter parlay.  Hopefully he delivers another highlight reel KO come fight night. 


CYNTHIA CALVILLO-150(9-4-1) VS NINA NUNES+130(10-7):

When this fight was originally scheduled a few weeks ago I was going to be on the CALVILLO side but I think I have to go with NUNES here and that is based solely on the plus money in what should be a very close fight. We have not seen either one of these ladies in a while so there is no telling where they’re at mentally or physically but assuming they are both fight ready this is a 50/50 fight and as such I have to go with the plus money dog in NUNES. She will likely have the advantage on the feet while CALVILLO will be the superior jiujitsu player but there is no telling how this one will play out.  That said, I’m going to be on the NUNES ML. Hopefully she will be riding some momentum from her wife’s recent title victory and the NUNES family will continue to thrive here.



I have to go with the undefeated prospect in MURZAKANOV in this one. While he got off to a rocky start in his UFC debut versus TAFON NCHUKWI he was able to find the flying knee knockout in that one and I expect he could do the same to CLARK in this sophomore outing. Granted CLARK looked quite spectacular in his last outing against WILLIAM KNIGHT but this is definitely a step up in competition versus “the professional ” MURZAKANOV who is undefeated for a reason.  I will be playing the MURZAKANOV ML and I might use him in a two fighter parlay. 



I don’t know a whole lot about these two fighters but based on all the tape I watched them I think the undefeated JAUREQUI will likely prevail in this spot. She has more finishing upside in my opinion but I do think LUCINDO will be coming for war in what will be a double UFC debut for these two. I’m on JAUREQUI because I think she has faced a higher level of competition and because she has the more technical skill set but LUCINDO looks very strong and very game so it is difficult to say who comes out on top with any degree of certainty. I will not be betting this fight at these odds with all of these unanswered questions and X factors but I expect this to be a good fight and I am picking the undefeated JAUREQUI to get it done. 


NATE LANDWHER+165(15-4) VS DAVID ONAMA-195(10-1):

I’m going to be on ONAMA here. It’s pretty hard to pick against him at this point. He has been quite spectacular in all of his UFC appearances and he continues to show improvements from fight to fight. THE James KRAUSE pupil has an extremely well rounded skill set and he has shown himself to be very dangerous. LANDWHER is no slouch by any means and he too possesses a well rounded array of weapons but if this fight is a collision style affair I think that favors ONAMA and if it’s a technical bout I think it favors ONAMA even more. We can’t rule out a LANDWHER KO here but I’m firmly on the ONAMA side. I will be betting ONAMA to get it done ITD and I will use him in a two fighter parlay. 


MARLON VERA-185 (19-7-1) VS DOMINICK CRUZ+160(24-3): 

After what I saw “Chito” VERA do to Rob FONT in his last outing I don’t think I can bet against him here. Even though CRUZ is arguably the bantamweight GOAT at this point in time he is an aging veteran who has taken a lot of damage throughout his career and I’m not sure he will fare any better than FONT did when he faced Chito. I could see CRUZ dancing around on the outside and picking off Chito intelligence Chito lands and puts him down in devastating fashion and density comes to pure thuggery and toughness I have to side with VERA.  BOTH of these guys have extremely high fight IQ and both are very high level mixed martial artists but VERA seems to be coming into his own while CRUZ is undeniably nearing the end of illustrious career. I went against Chito last time and I got roasted for at the betting window as well as by Chito truthers who are quite passionate about their boy(I fucking love lol) . They have reason to be passionate about this amazing athlete who brings the heat every single time he sets foot in the Octagon. I’m picking Chito here and I will be betting his ML as well as using him in a two fighter parlay.


This should be an outstanding main event for as long as it lasts. I’m expecting an all action affair between two of the UFC’s brightest talents and I would not be surprised if this was FOTN. This could be another sleeper card similarly to Vegas 59. Although I don’t expect it to have a 100% finish rate I do think these young debuting athletes are coming to make their bones and oftentimes that results in those MMA wars that keep us coming back for more. 

Hopefully my reads continue to be accurate and more importantly I hope I can monetize my action this week because it has been somewhat disheartening to to lose money despite picking winners at an 80% clip. Nonetheless I am not even remotely deterred as we move forward. These are the ebbs and flows of MMA betting. Sometimes you get kissed and sometimes you get stung but the only time you ever really fail is when you stop trying. 

As always fade me or follow me at your own peril and above all enjoy the fights.

Frank Jodouin

Contributing Analyst

I started betting on fights in 2016, and have watched every single fight on every live event for almost seven years running. To put it plainly, I am a fight junkie, and Dana White is my dealer. I write content because I'm so passionate about this sport and I am honored to be a member of the We Want Picks team. I love to talk fights and share the knowledge I have accrued over the years as I continue to learn about the greatest the sport on planet earth.

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