UFC Vegas 62 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Cub Swanson vs. Jonathan Martinez: This Old ‘Dog Still Has Bite (Saturday, October 15)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC bantamweight Cub Swanson
- Saturday's UFC co-main event features longtime vet Cub Swanson's move down to bantamweight.
- He enters as an underdog to Jonathan Martinez, who's won three straight fights.
- Manpreet Jhass explains why he's backing the underdog – and even offers a prop bet for the fight.
Cub Swanson vs. Jonathan Martinez Odds
The UFC is back in full force with UFC Vegas 62, kicking off a six-week run of consecutive events. The co-main event brings us the bantamweight debut of veteran Cub Swanson as he takes on rising prospect, Jonathan Martinez.
The event – also dubbed UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Araujo – kicks off at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) from Las Vegas and streams entirely on ESPN+.
Swanson will be looking for one last run in a new weight class, even though he is coming off a tremendous knockout-win performance over Darren Elkins last time around.
Martinez is looking to build upon his three-fight winning streak by taking on his toughest and most experienced opponent to date.
Will the veteran savvy of Swanson allow him to get his hand raised? Or will the youth of Martinez pay off in a big win?
Read on to find out how these fighters match up as well as the best way to attack this fight from a betting angle.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||11:32||13:47|
|Weight (pounds)||135 lbs.||135 lbs.|
|Date of birth||11/2/1983||4/20/1994|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.66||4.72|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.65||3.77|
|Take Down Avg||1.08||0.54|
Swanson has had an illustrious WEC/UFC career over the last 15 years. He has gone up against the best of the best at 145 pounds and carved out a spot for himself in the UFC by remaining relevant over that time.
Swanson is on a 3-1 run over his last four fights, the only loss coming to Giga Chikadze. His win over Daniel Pineda marked his first finish in the UFC in nearly seven years. He followed that up with another finish over Darren Elkins.
The move to 135 pounds has raised eyebrows, especially with Swanson turning 39 in less than a month. We've seen both failure and success stories with older fighters dropping down a weight class, so it will be intriguing to see how this one pans out.
Swanson is a crafty striker with deceptively heavy power. He is very loose and creative from distance when fighters allow him to fight there. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but we don't often see his grappling on display because he prefers striking with his opponents.
— UFC (@ufc) October 10, 2022
Meanwhile, since entering the UFC back in 2018, Martinez has amassed a 7-3 record. Many bettors – myself included – love betting him around that -200 mark given his reliability in most spots. It is usually matchup-dependent, but if he fights opponents of the Vince Morales caliber, he usually can pull off the victory without many hiccups.
His fight with Alejandro Perez showcased what may be his ceiling, though, considering the number of times Perez had him hurt. Martinez managed to keep his composure and stick to his game plan, which still ended up getting him the victory.
In prior fights, Martinez used a lot of kicks to maintain his distance so he could establish his combination striking. He tried showing flashes of his grappling in his last fight. Although he landed two takedowns in that bout, he couldn't muster up much control time. It seems as though he would be best suited to stick with his bread and butter with the striking.
I think this is a healthy step up for Martinez to further his skills and experience, but does that mean he’ll get his hand raised?
Swanson vs. Martinez Pick
Technically speaking, I think Martinez has the striking advantage here. He seems a tad more fluid in his combinations and ability to establish distance with his kicks.
The question for me, though, is whether he can handle the unorthodox striking style of Swanson and the power that will inevitably be placed on his chin.
The big storyline going into this fight is Swanson’s cut to 135 pounds, but people are overlooking Martinez's own struggles to make 135 in the past. Martinez has missed weight once at bantamweight, and he even had a fight canceled on weigh-in day because he botched his weight cut.
He has also competed at 145 pounds a couple of times, so he didn’t have to cut the weight. I think it is smart to wait for the weigh-ins to see how both fighters look before locking in your action.
I do not at all agree with the 67% (-200) implied odds on Martinez. I think based on the experience, movement, and power of Swanson, this should be closer to a 50/50 fight.
I think we’ll see this be competitive throughout, but at a certain point, Swanson will find that chin and put down Martinez. I would be comfortable betting Swanson down to +120 to still get an edge on the perceived value. A sprinkle on the knockout prop around +500 isn’t too shabby either.
The Pick: Cub Swanson (+175 at BetMGM)