In the main event of UFC San Diego, Marlon Vera took on Dominick Cruz in the first of many key bantamweight fights coming up over the next few months.
Vera entered the fight coming off a decision win over Rob Font in his first UFC main event. Prior to that, ‘Chito’ scored a KO win over Frankie Edgar. Cruz, meanwhile, was on a two-fight win streak as he beat Pedro Munhoz and Casey Kenney by decision.
In the end, it was Vera winning by fourth-round KO as he landed a perfectly-timed head kick that ended the fight. Now, after UFC San Diego, here is what I think should be next for both Vera and Cruz.
Marlon Vera fought down in the rankings but did so to fight arguably the greatest bantamweight of all time as he took on Dominick Cruz. Early on, Cruz was having success as he was using his wrestling and footwork to avoid the power shots from Vera, yet ‘Chito’ then landed a timely head kick that KO’d Cruz.
Although Vera is now on a four-fight win streak, he is in a weird spot in the bantamweight division. Several key fights are still to happen – Aldo vs. Dvalishvili, Sandhagen vs. Yadong, Sterling vs. Dillashaw, and Yan vs. O’Malley. With that, it’s uncertain who will get the next title shot but Vera vs. the winner of Cory Sandhagen vs. Song Yadong makes sense.
The fight will headline a Fight Night card on Sept. 17 and should Sandhagen win, the fight can serve as a number one contender bout and headline a card. If Yadong wins, it would be a rematch between Vera that could also determine the next title contender.
Dominick Cruz was looking good up until he wasn’t on Saturday night.
Cruz was up 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards heading into the championship rounds, but the power of Vera was too much throughout the fight. After the loss, it’s uncertain what the future holds as Cruz says he’s only fighting so he can win a championship so after this loss, whether or not he will get a shot at the belt is uncertain.
Given his future is murky, and when he will return is unknown, there are three possible matchups for Cruz. Those being Jose Aldo if he loses to Dvalishvili, TJ Dillashaw if he loses to Aljamain Sterling, or Cody Garbrandt should he beat Rani Yahya. All three are big fights that can headline a Fight Night card and be a massive fight.
What do you think should be next for Marlon Vera and Dominick Cruz after UFC San Diego?