Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz squared off in a Bantamweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., Aug. 13, 2022) from inside Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. Following a back-and-forth contest, Vera slept his foe with a high kick (watch highlights).
Cruz started fast, landing a right hand early. The former champion looked light on his feet as he landed a body kick. Cruz landed a brief takedown alongside a few low kicks. Vera timed Cruz perfectly with a left hook, sitting him down for a moment! Cruz recovered well and landed a flurry of his own. Cruz continued to work the calf, but he looked a bit more hesitant to enter the pocket. Vera attacked the body with a front kick. Cruz blitzed forward with another strong combination then scored a nice double leg into the guard. Vera threw up a quick armbar, but Cruz pulled away at the bell.
Cruz started the second with another good combination and a low kick. Cruz was really winning the low kick battle early, chopping hard into the calf. Vera landed a few good punches on the counter and started upping the pressure a bit. Vera kicked his opponent in the face, but Cruz took it well. Cruz targeted the body with a big hook then took a counter shot. Cruz was still throwing more, but Vera’s head movement and defense was negating a larger portion of his offense compared to the first round.
Cruz was making his opponent’s hands miss as well. Still, when Vera did time a right hand, Cruz definitely took notice. Heavy right hand scored for Cruz after some jab feints. Vera stuffed a shot, but Cruz landed on the break. Stiff jab scored for “Chito.” Both men landed some big shots in the second, making for a close round!
Cruz knocked Vera out of his stance early in the third with a low kick then swarmed his opponent with a big combination. Vera kept on the pressure and sat his opponent down with a double jab-cross. Cruz hit the canvas hard but popped right back up. Vera was picking up the pace a bit, and he stuck Cruz with another hard counter after a stuffed takedown attempt. His front kick was active as well. Cruz was still throwing a lot, but Vera really blocked most of his offense in the third. A Vera front kick prompted a Cruz takedown, but that attempt only allowed Vera to land some hard elbows.
Cruz ran into an early takedown attempt, but it was stuffed. He did manage to land a nice right hand soon afterward though! Another left hook from Vera snuck through Cruz’s defense. A stiff jab interrupted a Cruz charge, sending him to the canvas for the third time. Cruz’s recoverability was incredible, and he landed a 1-2. Out of nowhere, Vera perfectly timed a left head kick as Cruz tried to duck away from a combination, knocking out the former champion.
Vera is known for his left high kick, and this one was perfect. Vera’s foot crashed directly into Cruz’s nose, and “The Dominator” hit the canvas face-first. There’s no blaming Keith Peterson on this one — Cruz was out cold.
Result: Marlon Vera defeats Dominick Cruz via fourth round knockout
For complete UFC San Diego: “Cruz vs. Vera” results and play-by-play, click HERE.
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