UFC San Diego went down last night (Sat., Aug. 13, 2022) from inside Pechanga Arena in southern California. In the main event of the evening, Marlon Vera knocked out Dominick Cruz with a brutal head kick to win his fourth straight fight (highlights). In the co-main event, Nate Landwehr and David Onama went to war for 15 minutes to earn “Fight of the Night” honors (see it here).
Biggest Winner: Marlon Vera
Going into the fourth round, Vera was likely down at least two rounds (potentially three) on the scorecards because “The Dominator” was quicker to the punch and much busier than “Chito,” despite the Ecuadorian dropping the former world champion several times. But, Vera made sure the judges didn’t have a say in the matter, knocking out Cruz with a nasty head kick and ensuing follow up strikes to seal the deal. Winner of four straight, “Chito” could cause some waves in the Top 5 come next week, meaning that he is one step closer to fighting for the title. It’s been a long and grueling road for Vera to get to this position, and now that he is nearing a world title shot, he is determined to make the most of it after years of struggling to get into the mix and to get the respect he truly deserves.
Runner (s) Up: Yasmin Jauregui and Nate Landwehr
Jauregui’s UFC debut couldn’t have gone any better. The 23-year-old Mexican Strawweight showed why she deserved a spot right in the middle of the main card after she and Iasmin Lucindo — who was also making her Octagon debut — put on a show of non-stop action for 15 minutes. In the end, only one could prevail and Jauregui did just that, earning the unanimous decision, as well as the adoration of fight fans around the world. In fact, even company president, Dana White, who gave them a standing ovation between rounds and met with both ladies as they exited the cage to give them their props. All respect to Lucindo, too, because she was a willing dance partner who will also have a bright future inside the Octagon. But, this moment belongs to Jauregui, who remains undefeated (9-0). She can only get better, which isn’t exactly what the rest of the division wants to hear.
In what was perhaps the weirdest fight of 2022 so far, Landwehr and David Onama put on a fun show. Landwehr was in trouble early on, but toughed it out to deliver a performance worthy of a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. Landwehr not only got the win, but he also earned a whole new fan base because he played to the crowd all night. When he had great position on Onama, he opted to stand up to keep the fight going on the feet. And when he did, he delivered, landing several big shots while absorbing plenty from Onama, as well. Landwehr now has two straight wins and plenty of momentum moving forward.
Biggest Loser: Cynthia Calvillo
Coming into the event, Calvillo took our spot for the person “Who Needs A Win Badly,” having lost her last three fights inside the Octagon. And once the dust settled in her fight against Nina Nunes, the woman who was once hailed as the next Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey, suffered her fourth straight loss, dropping a split decision. There is no telling what’s gone wrong for the once-surging star who started her career with an impressive 9-1-1 record, but one has to wonder what the promotion plans on doing with her as a result of her skid. But, if Sam Alvey can stick around following a dreadful drought that saw him go 0-7-1 before finally getting the boot after his loss to Michał Oleksiejczuk one week ago, then Calvillo can rest easy knowing she might get one more fight to prove her worth.
For complete UFC San Diego: “Cruz vs. Vera” results and play-by-play, click HERE.