After a soon-to-be vintage performance by Dominick Cruz, Marlon Vera makes the adjustment and secures the finish late in the fight.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, August 13, 2022, for UFC on ESPN 41, going down live from the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
Headlining the event is a match up of bantamweight contenders, as former multi-time WEC & UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (no. 8) faces Marlon Vera (no. 5) in the main event of the evening.
Co-headlining the event is a featherweight clash between former M-1 Challenge featherweight champion Nate Landwehr (15-4) and former FAC featherweight champion David Onama (10-1).
Reverting back to our main event; Cruz has gone 2-0 since his title bout with Henry Cejudo back in 2020, while Vera comes in on a two-fight win streak, having gone 9-2 in his last 11.
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Continue reading to see how this 135 lb main event of the evening went down:
Official Result: Marlon Vera def. Dominick Cruz via KO (head kick) at 2:17 of round four
Cruz opens up the fight with a lot of aggression, which is a tad uncharacteristic for him. He usually lets the fight sit in a little while he makes his reads, but knowing Vera is a slow starter himself, he decided to get ahead on the cards.
That he did.
Cruz’ wacky, unusual blitzes likes to use are working incredibly well, baffling Vera as they do everyone else. He also takes Vera down twice, but doesn’t remain on top for long.
Vera does drop him momentarily, but other than that, the entire first round goes to Cruz.
By time the first five minutes is over, Cruz has landed 31 strikes, and Vera has landed 11.
The second round is more of the same, as is the beginning of the third. Vera lands a nasty left hand about two minutes into the third however and shows us just how quickly he can change the outcome of a fight, as he’s done a number of times before.
The striking totals were much closer in the third, just barely going to Cruz.
Vera drops Cruz momentarily with a jab in the fourth, but he isn’t throwing as often as he should. Cruz is defending most of the shots coming his way, and he’s been recovering quickly when he’s dropped.
But, that all changed when Vera throws and lands a nasty head kick midway through the fourth and KO’s the former champion. That was hard to watch.
This event was in Cruz’ hometown too, what a devastating end to a soon-to-be great performance by the former champion.
On the contrary, Marlon Vera has now won his last four straight fights, KO’ing two former multi-time UFC champions in Dominick Cruz and Frankie Edgar in that time.
We said it going in, Marlon Vera is one of the best in the entire sport, if not the best at making adjustments mid-fight, and he’s dangerous, everywhere. He showed us that once again tonight.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!