Marlon Vera (right) is an underdog vs Cory Sandhagen at UFC San Antonio on March 25.

Vera vs Sandhagen Odds & Pick: Cory’s Speed vs Chito’s Power

This one’s been circled on the calendars for a while. Bantamweights Marlon “Chito” Vera and Cory Sandhagen will duke it out March 25 in a five-round UFC Fight Night main event, with the winner likely inching closer to a title shot. 

The card takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, with prelim fights at 4 p.m. ET and the main card at 8 p.m.

Sandhagen is a slight favorite at -160, while Vera comes in as the +130 underdog. 

UFC Fight Night: Vera vs Sandhagen Betting Odds

Vera vs Sandhagen Odds
Marlon Vera+130
Cory Sandhagen-160

Odds as of March 20

If we dissect the Vera vs Sandhagen odds using our odds calculator, Cory’s -160 status translates to an implied win probability of 61.54 percent. That means a $10 bet on him pays out $16.25 (a return of your original $10 plus $6.25 in profit). Vera’s +130 odds imply a 43.48 percent win probability and a $10 bet on the underdog pays out $23.

For more information on how these numbers work, including the Vera vs Sandhagen odds, head over to our How to Bet on UFC page. Also, feel free to visit our main UFC betting news page for all the latest news from inside the Octagon.

Vera vs Sandhagen Preview: Who Will Win?

This is one of the best fights of the year. Vera, ranked third, can solidify a title shot with a win. Fifth-ranked Sandhagen, on the other hand, can launch himself to the top among the division’s best if he wins. 

What Sandhagen Does Well

Chito and Sandhagen have identical 70-inch reaches, but Sandman is taller and has more whip in his limbs. His spinning strikes are deadly, although his greatest asset is his movement and striking output. The 30-year-old buzzes in for a dizzying combo, then pops back out of range to limit any damage. It might be hard for Chito to line him up and put him away, but we know it’s possible (ask Dominick Cruz, whom Vera KO’d with a perfect head kick last summer).

Sandhagen won’t knock Vera out — the Ecuadorian has one of the strongest chins in UFC history. That means Cory needs to win on points by tagging Vera a ton and dodging any high kicks or calf attacks. Both fighters have good gas tanks, so the five-round pace won’t be an issue. However, Sandhagen is best to attack early and often, assuring he starts the first few rounds ahead on the scorecard.

What Vera Does Well

Chin. Defense. Power. Those three elements make Chito one of the deadliest fighters in the UFC right now. And his win over Cruz at UFC San Diego set a strong precedent for how Vera can win again. Cruz, like Sandhagen, relies on shiftiness; he swings his head and bounces all over the place. That constant motion made it hard for Vera, who was down on the scorecards through three, to line up his opponent. But then he uncorked a vicious head kick, breaking the future UFC Hall of Famer’s nose and folding him to the ground.

Chito will have to fight patiently Saturday and pick his spots. Sandhagen will take risks with his fluid strikes, though Vera shouldn’t have trouble defending. A point fight favors the more creative Sandhagen. If Chito wins this bout, it’ll be by knockout. 

Vera vs Sandhagen Pick

This is a doozy. Sandhagen has the slight edge per the odds, though I feel like the line should be closer to a pick’em. I’m handicapping this fight under the assumption it goes the distance (odds TBD). Two of Sandhagen’s last three fights have gone 25 minutes, and his most recent bout vs Song Yadong would’ve gone longer if not for a doctor’s stoppage. Chito KO’d Cruz in Round 4, but before that, he went to decision in four of six fights.

My official pick is Sandhagen to win at -160 and the fight to go the distance. I think Cory’s activity will give him an edge on the scorecards, though the threat of a blistering one-punch (or knee or kick) from Chito could threaten this prediction at any moment. Proceed with caution.

Pick: Sandhagen to win (-160); Fight To go the distance (TBD); Value play on Sandhagen by decision (TBD)

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