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4 UFC San Antonio fights you can’t miss, including Holly Holm’s last stand

ufc san antonio
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The MMA world leader returns to ESPN+ on Saturday night with UFC San Antonio, a better-than-normal Fight Night card with several fights you really can’t miss.

The UFC is back this weekend and returns to a consistent destination on their yearly schedule, Texas. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, fight fans became accustomed to UFC Fight Night cards taking place inside the company’s APEX in Las Vegas. However, in 2023 the promotion has gone back to taking its violence circus on the road more often.

Related: UFC tonight – UFC San Antonio fight card, betting odds & watch times

With UFC San Antonio, the promotion offers up a very solid card that features ranked stars and a headliner that has “fight of the year” potential. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at for scraps on Saturday night that you would be silly to miss.

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Marlon Vera (+140) vs. Cory Sandhagen (-165)

ufc san antonio
Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

In the main event of UFC San Antonio, a pair of top-five fighters in our UFC bantamweight rankings will go to war looking to lock up a title opportunity this summer. Both Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen have a legion of fans that love them for bringing caged violence every time they enter the Octagon. Saturday night should be no different.

What makes this a matchup fight fans are salivating over is that both men are very similar. Sure, they have notable differences, but each loves to brawl and get bloody, however, they are also highly skilled talents. That is why they are serious title contenders and this matchup is extremely relevant in the division.

The bantamweight division has become just as good, if not better than lightweight — the weight class that has been considered the best in the sport for decades — because of bouts like this. As a pair of action fighters compete to move closer to their ultimate goal of being champions. You can’t miss this one because it should be a site to behold.

Holly Holm (-250) vs. Yana Santos (+210)

ufc san antonio
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Holly Holm will go down as one of the greatest female fighters the sport has ever seen. Yes, she has suffered some big losses against the best of her era, but no one has had a harder schedule and maintained her place among the best longer. However, at 41, the woman who brought Ronda Rousey’s bantamweight reign of terror to an end in 2015 is close to ending her career.

That is why her UFC San Antonio co-main event bout with Yana Santos is a must-see because at any moment she could decide to call it a career. While she is still relevant in two divisions, she has fought just once over the last few years, athletes only get worse after 40 and only endanger their long-term health by competing passed that point.

Holm’s bout on Saturday will be a challenge but very well could be a perfect opportunity to end her career with one last meaningful victory.

Alex Perez (+155) vs. Manel Kape (-180)

ufc san antonio
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Manel Kape vs Alex Perez at UFC San Antonio is a fascinating fight. Before joining the promotion in 2020, the former Rizin star, Kape, was hyped as the next big thing in the UFC. And then he fell flat with two straight defeats to begin his run in the Octagon. However, he has bounced back with three straight Ws, including two by highlight reel knockout.

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Yet, whenever he has faced one of the elites at flyweight, his weaknesses have shown. Alex Perez is one of the best at 125 pounds and has been for a while. If “Starboy” is ever to reach his potential he needs to get a win over a fighter like Perez. Saturday night is a make-or-break moment for Kape. Is he a legitimate title contender, or just an exciting pretender to the top spot?

Austin Lingo (+175) vs. Nate Landwehr (-205)

ufc san antonio
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Win or lose, Nate Landwehr has quickly become must-see content on UFC programming. He may never be a title contender at featherweight, but he delivers blood and guts action every time he enters the Octagon. He is 3-2 in the UFC and his bouts have featured some wild finishes and crowd-pleasing brawls.

If he wants to take a step forward in his divisional relevancy he must defeat Austin Lingo at UFC San Antonio. While that is no guarantee, the bout is still worth watching because “The Train” will no doubt take “just bleed” fans to violence town on Saturday.