After an electrifying trip to England for UFC 286, the promotion returns to American soil for UFC on ESPN 43 on March 25th at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, which will be headlined by an intriguing bantamweight scrap that is an early Fight of the Year candidate between former interim bantamweight championship challenger and No. 5 contender Cory Sandhagen and No. 3 contender Marlon Vera. Betting sites and betting apps are in agreement on this one, with Sandhagen listed as a unanimous moneyline favorite across the big sportsbooks.
Cory Sandhagen vs. Marlon Vera Bantamweight UFC Odds
- Marlon Vera has won his last four UFC bouts in a row
- Cory Sandhagen has lost three of his last six UFC bouts
- Holly Holm looks to bounce back in women’s bantamweight co-main event against Yana Santos
Cory Sandhagen vs. Marlon Vera UFC Odds
While the betting odds don’t have Sandhagen as a massive favorite for this one, Vera being positioned as the underdog is interesting considering the Ecuadorian is the higher ranked fighter and has been in better form recently. Check out the odds for the fight below courtesy of Sports Interaction.
Win by Decision
Win by KO/TKO/DQ
Win by Submission
Cory Sandhagen Odds
It’s interesting to note that while Sandhagen is the favorite to win here, Vera is the more likely of the two to win by finish based on the method of victory odds. That’s not because Sandhagen doesn’t have the power, it’s largely due to the fact that Vera’s chin is made of solid concrete.
Vera has never been finished in the octagon despite having seven losses on his pro record, all of which came via decision after the final bell. That’s fine by Sandhagen, who’s speed and pinpoint accuracy will serve him well in this fight as he looks to avoid Vera’s heavy power shots.
Sandhagen will obviously prefer to get the finish, which he’s gotten in his last three wins, but the best route to victory here its to touch Vera up with his patented quick fire combos before popping back out of range, which is why putting money down on Sandhagen to win via decision is probably the safest bet available here.
Marlon Vera Odds
Vera definitely has the power advantage, but Sandhagen knows how to get a finish too, as evidenced by his vicious flying knee knockout of UFC legend Frankie Edgar and his spinning wheel kick finish against Marlon Moraes. Chito Vera has arguably the strongest chin in the game today though, so while he shouldn’t let his guard down, when he does go in he can do so with slightly more reckless abandon then most.
The way these two fighters go at it, a fight that goes the distance would favor Sandhagen because of his massive striking output and creativity. Chito beat future UFC Hall Of Famer Dominick Cruz with a nasty fourth round head kick in his last bout, but it’s worth noting that he was losing on the scorecards through three rounds.
Cruz is a good comparison for Sandhagen as well, because both rely more on speed and unorthodox movement in the octagon to stifle the attack of their opponents. While Vera had trouble zeroing in on Cruz through 15 minutes of their bout, he found his range in the fourth round to get the finish. It will be tough, but Vera can win this fight if he can remain patient and pick his spots carefully against the buzzing style of the Sandman.
Though this is a five-round main event, stamina should not be an issue for either side, as Vera has gone four rounds or more in his last two fights and Sandhagen has gone to at least four in his last three straight. The longer the fight goes, the more likely Sandhagen will be able to go the distance, however, and when that final bell sounds, it’s generally not a good sign for Vera, who has gone 4-7 when the judges decide the winner.
Holly Holm vs. Yana Santos Odds
Yana Santos, formerly known as Kunitskaya, is the No. 6 women’s bantamweight contender, but Santos has yet to finish an opponent in the UFC, and Holly Holm, the No. 3 contender in the division, is not exactly a candidate to be her first. Holm has been finished just twice in the octagon, and she’ll be rearing to get back in the win column after a tough split decision loss to Ketlen Vieira last year.
Holm is 41 and her fitness may be waning, but the same could be said for Santos, who hasn’t fought since July 2021 due to a pregnancy. Holm is still a very well-rounded fighter, and most of her losses have come against the real cream of the crop, so this bout against Santos represents a nice bounce back opportunity for the veteran. This one is almost certain to go the distance, so look for Holm to score points early and often in the clinch while mixing in some takedowns as well. Don’t expect many fireworks from this one though.
Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.
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