Scott Smith’s Best Bets for UFC San Antonio: Vera vs Sandhagen

Mar 24, 2023
Best Bets for UFC San Antonio: Vera vs Sandhagen

UFC Fight Night comes to San Antonio with a bantamweight main event that could have title implications. Marlo Vera takes on Cory Sandhagen in what should be an action-packed fight. The rest of the card has a number of fighters with a lot of variance in projected outcomes. For that reason, we will steer clear of a parlay and pick a few spots to get better value

UFC San Antonio Best Bets

Holly Holm to win by Decision (-120, DraftKings)

Yana Santos returns after a two-year layoff, where she also gave birth to a new baby. In her most recent fight, she was put away by Iren Aldana, a fighter Holm recently beat. Santos has high-volume striking and uses her kicks well. She averages two takedowns per fight, but she only completes 53% of her attempts. Santos has a diverse striking attack where she manages distance and out-volumes her opponents. Santos will have some red flags to overcome with the layoff and the footwork it will take to cut off Holm. I would expect her to look to press Holm against the cage to slow down some of the movement.

Holly Holm is 41 years old with a decorated striking background. She has been at the top of the women’s rankings for years. Holm was on the wrong side of a controversial decision against Ketlen Vieira, where many had Holm as the winner. While she is on the downside of her career, Holly shows the ability to turn MMA fights into technical kickboxing matches. Holm has a 78% takedown defense and uses her lateral movement to dictate the pace of the fight. She gets in and throws combinations, then gets out. Often, it leaves her opponents following her lead. That should be the case in this fight as well, where I expect Holm to use her movement and striking to outpoint Santos en route to a decision victory.

Risk: 1.2 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Playable down to -130)

Preston Parsons to win (-110, DraftKings)

Trevin Giles came into the UFC fighting at 185 pounds. He has a loss to Dricus Du Plessis and a controversial win over Roman Dolidze. He most recently won a decision against Louis Cosce. Giles has a solid jab and does well grappling in spots. He has power on the feet and works well at range behind his job. The problem for Giles is that he has shown little growth during his time in the UFC. He has a sluggish output which makes me question his overall cardio. He fights in spurts where he engages with a combination and gets out to reset to then pick his next entry. On the ground, he will get some control time on top but settles for position rather than searching to advance or pass.

Parsons is an active grappler constantly searching for submissions. Parsons is aggressive with his output as he pressures to get the fight to the ground. He marches forward, throwing power shots to set up his wrestling entries. Parsons has been knocked out before and will need to avoid a big shot from Giles. Parsons will be the more active and accurate striker in this fight, but his clearest path to victory will be on the ground. I like Parsons in this spot as the more active fighter. I think his grappling and control should put him in a position to finish this fight via submission in what is essentially a pick ‘em matchup.

Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Playable down to -125)

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