Dominick Cruz did his best to remain at the very top of the Bantamweight division after 10 (on and off) years of contendership. But, Marlon Vera was just too powerful for “The Dominator” to handle last night (Sat., Aug. 13, 2022) in UFC San Diego’s main event. After using his tricky footwork to stay out of Vera’s kill zone for 17 minutes, Cruz ate a massive kick to the face and was knocked stiff in the fourth frame.

The official highlight reel finish raced its way across the Internet on fight night, but this clip of the head kick in slow motion is particularly interesting to us. In it you can see Cruz with a nice, straight, unbroken nose. And then bam pow bang, you see “Chito” Vera annihilate it with a kick.

A trip to Tom’s Rhinoplasty may be in Cruz’s future now.

It’s just not the same in regular speed. Everything’s happening way too fast for anyone to appreciate the carnage that was just unleashed.

In case there was any doubt, our favorite ringside physician-turned social media fight injury educator, Dr. David Abbasi, gave his professional opinion: nose “likely’ broken.

The loss derails Cruz’s two-fight win streak, and makes us wonder whether fighters have finally figured out how to handle Cruz’s wild style footwork that mystified the entire Team Alpha Male roster and almost everyone he faced for more than one decade.

According to Marlon Vera, it was no big deal.

“Honestly, me and my team, we really think the way he fights is kind of very low-level,” Vera said at the post-fight press conference. “There’s no base, there’s no good stance. All that movement side to side like I’m like, we told each other I have to kick this guy’s ass, but by saying that you put a lot of pressure on yourself. I just believe that style is not the best style for MMA. Maybe for boxing it can work better. But for MMA you got way too many weapons going.”

Vera went on to say his coaches had noticed Cruz’s tendency to duck his head and called on him to exploit that hole between rounds. It’s something XTreme Couture coach, Eric Nicksick, also noticed during the Vera vs. Cruz fight.

Indeed, about one minute before “Chito” landed his knockout kick, Nicksick wrote:

Is this the end of Cruz walking between the raindrops? We’ll have to wait and see how he does in his next fight, once that nose gets some time to heal properly.

For complete UFC San Diego: “Cruz vs. Vera” results and play-by-play, click HERE.