Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen have expressed a mutual respect ahead of their matchup on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen, though both ranked bantamweights believe they will prevail in the crucial matchup. Their five-round affair will anchor the main UFC fight card (7 p.m. ET) from the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The No. 3-ranked Vera has become a fan favorite because of his rugged style and gregarious disposition. He is looking for his fifth straight win against the mild-mannered and No. 5-ranked Sandhagen, who needs a victory atop the UFC Fight Night card to preserve his spot.
Sandhagen is a -165 favorite (risk $165 to win $100), while Vera comes back at +140 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, former women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm (-225) meets Yana Santos (+185). Before locking in your UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine analyst Daniel Vithlani.
Vithlani is a highly analytical UFC bettor who profited more than $6,200 for $100 bettors in 2022. This includes a documented 24-14 record on his well-respected, two-leg parlays. Every pick was documented on his public Instagram account.
From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport's nuances.
In his SportsLine debut at UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and his 5-0 record included advising SportsLine members to back Jamahal Hill (-125) against Glover Teixeira (+105) for the vacant light heavyweight title in the main event. Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen in sight, Vithlani has studied the UFC card top to bottom for value and released his top MMA picks. You can only see who to back at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen preview
In a division full of potentially intriguing matchups, Vera vs. Sandhagen has a chance of delivering an action-packed fight between strikers who go about their business with opposing approaches.
Sandhagen (15-4) comes from a kickboxing background and used to compete in the World Kickboxing Association. This base is evident, as he relies on precision timing and technique to pepper his opponents with strikes at range while staying out of harm's way.
Not long after Sandhagen made his UFC debut in January 2018, numerous MMA analysts predicted the Colorado native would soon become the division's champion. Sandhagen won his first five UFC outings but has gone 3-3 since, with all three defeats coming against current or former champions.
He was submitted by Sterling in the first round of their June 2020 matchup, his first taste of top-five competition. Following wins against fading veterans Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar, the 30-year-old lost back-to-back decisions against former champions TJ Dillashaw and Petr Yan. But in what might be the best win of his career, Sandhagen rebounded with a fourth-round stoppage of No. 8-ranked Yadong Song in their main event in September of last year.
Although Vera (20-7-1) is in his ninth year with the promotion, he is still just 30 and appears to be coming into his prime. The Ecuadorian fighter is known for his relentless pace in which he assaults his opponents with a blur of punches, elbows and kicks until they ultimately succumb.
Vera is probably best known for his thudding upset knockout of previously unbeaten prospect Sean O'Malley in August 2020. He added to his growing highlight reel with a head-kick knockout of former champion Dominick Cruz last August, his fourth consecutive victory. You can see who Vithlani is backing at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night picks
We'll share one of Vithlani's UFC Fight Night picks here: He is going with Nate Landwehr (-230) to get his hand raised against Austin Lingo (+195) in a battle of featherweight prospects.
Landwehr (16-4) came to the UFC as a known prospect following a run through the M-1 Challenge promotion that saw him become its featherweight champion. He lost two of his first three UFC fights, but the 34-year-old Tennessee native has recaptured momentum following a pair of dominant victories. He earned a Fight of the Night bonus for his majority-decision win in a back-and-forth war with fellow prospect David Onama last August.
Lingo (9-1) is a versatile fighter who has three knockouts and two submissions among his nine professional wins. The 28-year-old Texan lost his UFC debut but has since won two straight, including a decision against Luis Saldana in his last performance.
"Landwehr has shown improved technique and endless heart in his last two wins. Lingo has a solid all-around MMA game, but I don't feel he is above average anywhere," Vithlani told SportsLine. You can see more picks at SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen picks
Vithlani also has strong picks for Vera vs. Sandhagen and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing an underdog who "is a shark on the ground" to pull off an upset on Saturday. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Vera vs. Sandhagen at UFC Fight Night? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out.
UFC Fight Night: Vera vs. Sandhagen odds, fight card
See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets here.
Cory Sandhagen (-165) vs. Marlon Vera (+140)
Holly Holm (-225) vs. Yana Santos (+185)
Nate Landwehr (-250) vs. Austin Lingo (+210)
Maycee Barber (-265) vs. Andrea Lee (+225)
Chidi Njokuani (-170) vs. Albert Duraev (+150)
Tucker Lutz (-275) vs. Daniel Pineda (+225)
Manel Kape (-190) vs. Alex Perez (+160)
Trevin Giles (-115) vs. Preston Parsons (-105)
CJ Vergara (-250) vs. Daniel Da Silva (+205)
Manuel Torres (-155) vs. Trey Ogden (+135)