In the Clinch - Vera Gets Chance to Topple Cruz, UFC on ESPN 41In the Clinch – Vera Gets Chance to Topple Cruz, UFC on ESPN 41Marlon Vera has been asking for former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz for a long time. Careful what you ask for.

Vera (19-7-1), 29, comes into the bout supremely confident and firing on all cylinders. Currently ranked No. 5 in the division, “Chito” has won his last three bouts against quality opposition, including Frankie Edgar. A competitive loss to Jose Aldo is the only fly in the ointment.

Cruz SelectBut Vera will be facing arguably his toughest opponent to date.

Cruz (24-3-0), 36, who recently came back to the cage in May 2020, is taking the methodic route back for one last run to the title. Currently ranked No. 8, he rebounded from a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo with decision wins over Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz. It appears the patented footwork of “The Dominator” is still intact.

Vera needs to make Dominick work, right from the beginning. He is seven years younger and has the power advantage. He needs to establish the aggressiveness and pace, and make Cruz adapt to it. Don’t let him use his grappling, rough him up in the clinch. Don’t get frustrated by the elusiveness of Cruz.

Cruz has seen pretty much everything, if not in the cage, then in the broadcast booth. He has one of the keenest minds in all of MMA. When you combine that with his ability to execute, it makes him even sharper.

Cruz knows his footwork and striking will eventually break Vera down. He has five rounds to frustrate and wear on his younger opponent.

Somebody is going to wear down and the other is going to push through. Let’s see who gets it on Saturday night.

In the Clinch – Vera Gets Chance to Topple Cruz, UFC on ESPN 41 – More Resources

Marlon Vera

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