Vera KOs Cruz with head kick in UFC San Diego main event
It appears Marlon "Chito" Vera has a penchant for knocking out former UFC champions with head kicks.
Vera finished Dominick Cruz, one of the greatest bantamweights of all time, at the 2:17 mark of the fourth round in the UFC San Diego main event Saturday night.
Vera feinted and then landed a picture-perfect left head kick that sent Cruz crashing to the canvas. Vera dished out a couple punches on the mat before referee Herb Dean stepped in.
Cruz started the fight strongly. He stayed busier than Vera in the striking department, landing several barrages of punches throughout the first three rounds. Cruz was up 29-28 on all three judges' scorecards going into the fourth frame.
However, Vera kept the fight close with an evident advantage in power, knocking Cruz down in the first and third rounds.
The No. 5-ranked bantamweight contender has now won four in a row, cementing himself in the title conversation. His winning streak also includes a head-kick knockout of former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar that took place last November.
Vera is the first bantamweight to ever win 10 UFC fights by stoppage, according to MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn.
The defeat brought Cruz's two-fight winning streak to an end. This was his first loss in the UFC in a non-title affair.