Bantamweight prospects, Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz, each enter their August 13th bout in the midst of win streaks. Vera has emerged victorious the last three times he’s stepped into the octagon, while Cruz has bounced back nicely after losing at UFC 249, winning back to back fights and getting his career back on track. Cruz is a former UFC bantamweight champion, while Vera is still yearning for his first shot at the title. Both men are ranked among the division’s top ten performers, and each understands what’s at stake as they head into this fight. There’s a lot to unpack here; without further ado, let’s get into it!
Vera vs. Cruz
Marlon Vera has been a professional mixed martial artist for over ten years. In that time span, he’s never lost by knockout or submission. For those who understand the nature of combat sports, that is a truly remarkable feat. Even the fiercest competitors have been knocked out or forced into a stoppage. To fight for over a decade, and only lose on the judges’ scorecards, is rarified air.
Although Vera has always been among the most respected athletes in the bantamweight division, he has never received a title shot, not in the UFC or the various promotions he competed in before joining mixed martial arts’ biggest brand. He knows that a win against Dominick Cruz will put him one step closer to finally reaching that goal; he will put it all on the line to make that dream a reality.
Dominick Cruz is the only fighter to simultaneously hold championship belts in the now defunct WEC and the UFC. This is a feat that may never happen again, as the big business of combat sports makes in highly unlikely that the powers that be would ever allow a fighter to compete in the UFC, Bellator and PFL Fighting Championships at the same time. However, the fact that a man accomplished this remarkable achievement once upon a time should be celebrated nonetheless.
Cruz lost the UFC Bantamweight title at UFC 207 in December of 2016. He took almost a four year layoff and returned to the octagon in May of 2020 at UFC 249. Although he did not win his comeback fight, he has looked more and more like his old self in each of his last two fights. Now, at the age of 37, he is ready to mount one last comeback in his pursuit of a final shot at the title. Fight fans should be sure to tune in when Vera and Cruz meet in the octagon; there’s a lot at stake, and neither man will back down!Embed from Getty Images
Landwehr vs. Onama
Over the last two years, featherweight prospect Nate Landwehr has looked mediocre at times. He has lost two out of his last four fights and seems to lack the passion he had back when he was the M-1 Global featherweight champion. His upcoming fight against David Onama will be his first octagon appearance of this calendar year and many pundits are saying the performance will determine the trajectory of his career with the UFC.
Onama, on the other hand, is relatively inexperienced in comparison to Landwehr. He has only been a professional fighter for three years and has never competed for a championship in any organization. He has been very active this year; his next fight will be his third public performance of 2022. Onama is hoping he can lengthen his streak to three consecutive wins, while Landwehr is simply hoping to recapture the shine of his glory years.
Jauregui vs. Lucindo
Women’s strawweight prospect Yazmin Jauregui has gone undefeated in her eight career professional mixed martial arts fights. On Saturday, August 13th, she will make her UFC debut. Her opponent, Iasmin Lucindo, will also be making her first appearance in the world’s most renowned mixed martial arts organization. While neither woman is very well known yet, they each enter the octagon with impressive credentials. Jauregui was once crowned the UWC Champion, in a regional circuit in South America, Lucindo hasn’t lost a fight since May of 2019. This will be a test of two of the brightest prospects in the women’s strawweight division. You won’t want to miss it!
Clark vs. Murzakanov
Devin Clark won the United States Junior College National Championship in wrestling back in 2009. After college, he would go on to win the RFA Light Heavyweight championship belt. Since joining the UFC in 2016, Clark has been a consistent performer but has never been among the elites in the division; he is currently on the outside looking in of the top fifteen fighters in the light heavyweight rankings.
Azamat Murzakanov is undefeated in eleven professional fights. Yet the oddest aspect of his career has been his inactivity. He became a professional in 2010; it would seem that he would a lot more than eleven fights to his credit. He made his UFC debut in March of this year, and looked impressive while emerging victorious. His fight against Devin Clark on Saturday will be the biggest test of his career. Clark is a seasoned veteran, and if Murzakanov has weaknesses in his approach, Clark is savvy enough to expose them.
Silva vs. Meerschart
Middleweight prospect Bruno Silva made his UFC debut in June of 2021, winning his first three fights in the organization before losing to Alex Pereira in March of this year. Due to his elite technical skills, he is seen as one of the brightest prospects in the entire division. His status as a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu means he is more classically trained than a lot of other fighters in his weight class.
Gerald Meerschart is also a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, in addition to having earned the title of Master of Sports in kickboxing. His sparring partners began referring to him as “The Machine” during an intense training session at the gym and the moniker has stuck with him ever since. Meerschart and Silva are two of the most skilled fighters in the middleweight division. You won’t want to miss it when these two gladiators meet in the middle of the octagon!
How to watch
UFC San Diego can be viewed on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis, available right here at World in Sport!