UFC Fight Night: Vera Vs. Sandhagen, Start Time, Card Preview

UFC on ESPN 43: Vera Vs. Sandhagen

Getty UFC on ESPN 43: Vera Vs. Sandhagen

Get ready for an epic clash between two of the most lethal bantamweight fighters in the UFC. On March 25th, Marlon “Chito” Vera is poised to take on the unforgiving Cory “Sandman” Sandhagen in a high-stakes battle that could determine the next bantamweight title contender. This is a fight that is not to be missed!

UFC Fight Night: Vera Vs. Sandhagen Start Time

  • Prelims begin: 4pm Et
  • Main Card begins: 7pm Et

UFC Fight Night: Vera Vs. Sandhagen Full Card Preview


Kicking off our night, Tamares Vidal looks to make it eight wins in a row with a victory over Hailey Cowan. Vidal is small for the bantamweight division, but more than makes up for it in power, having most recently finished Ramona Pascual with a flying knee to the body. Dana White’s Contender’s Series (DWCS) alumni Cowan makes her UFC debut and should hope to wow spectators with a dominant performance.

Vicious striker Vinicius Salvador debuts against the well-rounded Victor Altamirano, the latter of which will be looking to gain a positive win/loss ratio in the UFC. Salvador is a lanky 5’9 in the UFC’s flyweight division and has a 93% knockout ratio in 14 victories. However, with Salvador’s low hands and chin-up style, Altamirano has plenty of opportunities to capitalise.

Following this, Manuel Torres battles Trey Ogden. These men have a combined 23 finishes between them, with only six decisions. Torres’ last victory was a TKO finish over Frank Camacho, before this he impressed with a first-round finish on DWCS. Ogden hasn’t won a fight by KO but makes up for this with 11 submissions in 13 victories. It’s finisher vs. finisher in this fight.

C.J. Vergara hopes to re-enter the win column after losing to Tatsuro Taira last October, he faces the returning Daniel Da Silva, who looks to break a three-fight losing streak. Both men are well-rounded, with Da Silva holding a mild grappling advantage.

Next up is Trevin Giles versus Preston Parson. The latter fighter enters the fight with a 90% finish ratio by submission, and with two of his three professional losses to Daniel Rodriguez and Mike Perry.  Giles will be fighting a constant submission threat, so this fight is one to watch.

Steven Peterson has levelled up in his UFC performances, owning one of the best spinning backfist knockouts in the sport, then going on to upset Chase Hooper, and having a competitive fight with Julian Erosa. This is going to be a hard outing for Stevenson’s opponent Lucas Alexander, who wants to make it 1-1 in the UFC after a mauling from Joanderson Brito in his debut.

It’s all-out action in our featured prelim, as Daniel Pineda takes on Tucker Lutz. Pineda (27-14-0-3NC) has finished 100% of his professional victories, nine by KO/TKO and 18 by submission. Lutz returns after a long layoff since his defeat to Pat Sabatini in 2021, a shutout victory against the dangerous Pineda would be a fantastic return to form. Likewise, Pineda needs to end a skid of bad luck, since the Brazilian fighter is 1-1-3NC in his last five fights.

Main Card

Opening the main card is a middleweight bout between Chidi “Bang Bang” Njokuani, a tall slugger looking to get back in the win column and maintain his 100% finishing rate in the UFC. His opponent is the experienced and durable Albert Duraev, who just recently saw his ten-fight win streak broken by a TKO loss to Joaquin Buckley. Can Duraev weather the early storm and grind out a tough decision? Both fighters have the tools to win, it’s an exciting fight for sure.

Alex Perez

GettyNo. 6 ranked UFC flyweight, Alex Perez.

Next up, ranked flyweight fighters compete for a shot at the division’s top five. No. 6 ranked Alex Perez is an all-action fighter with a wealth of knockouts and submissions in his already extensive record. Perez — one of the very few fighters to win a fight via. leg kick TKO — looks to rebound from a skid of two losses to No.1 ranked Deiveson Figueiredo and No. 2 ranked Alexandre Pantoja respectively.

For No. 9 ranked Manel Kape, a victory over Perez solidifies his spot as a top contender. Despite being highly regarded as the Rizin bantamweight champion, Kape debuted in the UFC with two straight losses. He has since managed to piece together three victories and has the UFC bantamweight title in his sights.

Following this, ranked female flyweights duke it out to contend for a position in the top 10. Despite some setbacks, Maycee Barber has steadied the ship with a three-fight win streak. Aptly named “The Future”, Barber has nothing but the UFC championship on her mind. Standing in her way is Andrea Lee, a well-rounded fighter guarding the gates to the flyweight top 10. It’s a high-stakes matchup for both fighters.

Nate Landwehr caught the public eye with a fight of the night upset against David Onama in August 2022. He now fights Austin Lingo in what promises to be an all-out war between two gritty warriors.

Our co-main event of the night features women’s MMA veteran and former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm. “The Preacher’s Daughter” takes on Yana Santos, a dangerous striker returning from a long layoff since losing to Irene Aldana back in July 2021. Does Holm still have what it takes to compete at the top? Has Santos improved in all areas in the time she’s had off? Let’s see if this co-main event can deliver.

Cory Sandhagen

GettyCory Sandhagen KO’s Frankie Edgar with an intercepting flying knee.

At the top of the card, two cruel, patient strikers look to send each other out to pasture for a shot at UFC gold. The surging Marlon Vera rides a four-fight win streak since losing a contentious decision to Song Yadong. Vera sliced and diced Davey Grant with lethal elbows, before dispatching Frankie Edgar with a front kick to the jaw. He then took Rob Font into deep waters, employing his most vicious techniques to make Font suffer the whole five rounds. After this, he flattened Dominick Cruz’s nose with a well-timed head kick. “Chito” is not to be taken lightly.

The man looking to derail the Vera hype train is Colorado’s Cory Sandhagen, a man with equal finishing ability. Sandhagen’s agility is second to none in the bantamweight division, as he batters opponents with unorthodox techniques from all angles. It’s an intriguing matchup between two similar yet contrasting styles. Vera plods and waits for the perfect opportunity to strike, whilst Sandhagen keeps in constant motion, before exploding into an attack when his opponent least expects it.

It’s an incredibly underrated main event going under a lot of radars, be sure not to miss it.