UFC San Antonio Preview: Chito Vera – Cory Sandhagen

Nov 6, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Marlon Vera (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Frankie Edgar (red gloves) during UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC San Antonio, we are going to see a battle between two top five bantamweight contenders. Former interim title challenger Cory “The Sandman” Sandhagen (15-4) will take on Marlon “Chito’ Vera (22-7-1).

Sandhagen last fought in September and he was able to snap a losing streak. In that fight, he took on Song Yadong and scored a TKO after the fourth round. Sandhagen had sliced open Song and after dominating much of the fight, Sandhagen earned a TKO after the doctor called the fight off.

Prior to that, Sandhagen had lost decisions to TJ Dillashaw and Petr Yan. He’s hoping to get back to a title shot and to do that, he’s going to need to defeat Chito Vera. It’s crazy to think, but this fall would mark nine years since Chito Vera made his debut inside the octagon.

He’s had a ton of success but nothing compares to the recent stretch he’s been on. Entering the octagon tomorrow night, he’ll be carrying a four-fight winning streak with wins over Dominick Cruz, Rob Font, and Frankie Edgar. Both wins against the former UFC champions came via knockout.

UFC San Antonio Prediction

I think we are going to see a very entertaining battle tomorrow night. I’m expecting both men to stand and trade for most of the fight. For Sandhagen, he’s going to need to keep things on the outside and he’s going to need to rely on volume.

Chito Vera has a lot more power and his strikes are going to do more damage when he lands. Sandhagen has slicing strikes but outside of flying knees, he doesn’t have the most power. Vera throws with much more force and that could create problems for Sandhagen.

In a lot of ways I think this fight is similar to the Rob Font fight. Now, Sandhagen is much more diverse in his striking, but in that fight, Font landed more, but Chito landed much more devastating shots leading to his win. We could see something similar.

I’ve gone back-and-forth with this pick all week. I love the volume of Sandhagen and I could see him pulling away with points and winning a decision. However, I keep coming back to Chito Vera for some reason. Ultimately, I’m leaning towards the power and more impactful shots winning Chito at least three rounds.

Prediction: Chito Vera by Decision

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