UFC Fight Night expert picks and best bets: Why experts are split on Vera vs. Sandhagen


Two of the top bantamweights in the UFC will make their first Octagon appearances of 2023 on Saturday in San Antonio. Former bantamweight title challenger Cory Sandhagen will face Marlon Vera for a chance to move closer to a shot at the 135-pound title in the main event of this weekend's UFC Fight Night (7 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+, with prelims at 4 p.m. on ESPN/ESPN+).

Vera, ranked No. 3 in ESPN's divisional rankings, is riding a four-fight winning streak. His most recent win was a fourth-round knockout of Dominick Cruz in August 2022. Sandhagen, ranked No. 6, beat Song Yadong by TKO in his most recent bout in September 2022.

Brett Okamoto spoke to UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa to get his perspective on the UFC main event. ESPN's betting experts Ian Parker and Reed Kuhn add their insights and analysis on both main events and other intriguing bets they like on the card.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

UFC bantamweight: Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen