Marlon Vera knocks out former two-time champion Dominick Cruz at UFC San Diego
Marlon Vera's nickname is "Chito," a Spanish-language colloquialism that essentially means "shush."
Vera quieted the crowd briefly Saturday, knocking out former two-time champion Dominick Cruz in Cruz's adopted hometown in the main event of UFC San Diego. Vera landed a left kick to Cruz's head, putting him out cold in the fourth round. The finish came at 2:17.
In his postfight interview, Vera told the San Diego crowd that he respects their "boy" Cruz and said that his coach, Jason Parillo, told him in between rounds to "throw a bomb after your punches and you will find him."
That is indeed what he did. Vera threw a combination, Cruz tried to duck away to his right and Vera crushed him with a left head kick.
"Props to Parillo," Vera said. "Thanks, Coach. I love you."
The crowd didn't stay silent for very long, ultimately cheering the finish and Vera's postfight speech.
The fight was a big one in the UFC bantamweight division. ESPN had Vera ranked No. 6 and Cruz ranked No. 10 in the world at 135 pounds.
There are big bantamweight fights coming up in the next few months, including Aljamain Sterling defending his title against former champ TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 on Oct. 22. "Chito" said he's not sweating what's next at this moment.
"At the end of the day, it's out of my control," Vera said. "I'm not tripping. I will keep working, I will keep kicking ass. ... I will be a world champion."