UFC San Diego kicks off at 4 p.m. ET today. Naturally, we have picks and predictions for the card.
The card will be broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN+. Unfortunately, this is likely one of the last events on ESPN this year. The beginning of College Football season usually forces UFC events back to ESPN+ full time. Enjoy it while it lasts!
There is no parlay this weekend, although there is a bonus underdog pick on the prelim card. The dogs could be barking early on the card, so pick your spots on those parlays.
UFC San Diego predictions and picks today
Dominick Cruz (+185) vs. Marlon Vera (-215)
A five-round main event between the cerebral former bantamweight champ, Dominick Cruz, and Marlon “Chito” Vera in what would theoretically put either fighter closer to a title shot. It is, however, far from a certainty in this crowded division.
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Strategically, Cruz is one of the best fighters on the roster at making adjustments. In his prime, he used incredible footwork, unorthodox style, and strong defense to win most of his fights by decisions regardless of the opponent.
Cruz has lost a step in speed but still wins fights based on his fight IQ — which is arguably the best across all divisions — and his unpredictable style.
Vera is the younger and stronger fighter who will do better if he is able to push the pace in this five-round battle. Although historically, he starts incredibly slow and will probably lose the opening minutes of the fight.
Vera should do more damage in this fight, and is very dangerous in clinch scenarios. Even more, Vera is improving his top control, so those scrambles could be closer than people think, although Cruz should still carry an edge in the grappling department.
Cruz will start fast, but Vera gets better as the fight continues. A live bet on Vera during round two should prove profitable, especially if you can get it close to even money if Vera loses round one.
If you have access to Bet365, their line on Vera to win by decision at +160 is an excellent bet. The rest of the market comes in around +130. Cruz is so careful in striking exchanges that it is hard to envision any fighter getting a finish here.
The official bets that could be parlay builders is for the fight to go the distance at -170 on Caesars Sportsbook and ‘Over’ 2.5 rounds -225 (BetMGM).
UFC San Diego picks
- Fight goes the distance -170 (Caesars)
- ‘Over’ 2.5 rounds -225 (BetMGM)
David Onama (-330) vs. Nate Landwehr (+260)
The co-main event takes place at the featherweight division. Nate Landwehr returns to fight UFC newcomer David Onama. Onama burst onto the scene in a narrow decision loss to Mason Jones as a +450 underdog last October. Since then, he is 2-0 with two dominant victories, one by knockout and the other by submission.
Landwehr loves to get into wars and has some varying results in those. He mainly just bites down on the mouthpiece and comes forward wildly. A fight where he is undersized and has no real advantages is a scary one, to say the least.
For good reason, Landwehr is an underdog here, as Onama has KO power and impressive submission ability. The play here is Onama to win inside the distance, which comes in at -110 on BetRivers.
I project this fight to end inside the distance between 73-75 percent of the time. With that reality, getting Onama down to pick ’em status is an excellent value. Getting Onama’s price down 25 percent covers most of his win condition in what we expect to be a firefight from the very beginning.
You can also opt to take a small flyer on Onama to win by submission at +600 at BetRivers or in round one (+1100) or two (+2100) on FanDuel.
Betting on Sports?
UFC San Diego picks
- Onama wins inside the distance -110 (BetRivers)
Best bet: Jason Witt +230 (BetMGM)
Jason Witt fights Josh Quinlan this weekend on the prelim card. Oddsmakers believe that this fight goes ‘Over’ 1.5 rounds 61.83 percent of the time. If that is the case, it is hard to see why Witt is such a big underdog against Quinlan. This is to say, if Quinlan wins, it will likely be via finish in under 1.5 rounds.
Digging into Quinlan’s tape, it is hard to find him defending any takedowns in his career. He only has five professional fights and is 6-0 in amateur fights, with early finishes in each. Look for Witt, the wrestler, to show up and is an excellent bet at these long odds.