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While you probably didn’t know who Aalon Cruz was before Tuesday night, you’re certainly going to see him on highlight reels for years to come.
Cruz (8-2) and fellow featherweight Steven Nguyen (6-1) went toe-to-toe for nearly 15 minutes in their Dana White’s Contender Series 22 contest, and the bout was certainly a contender for the unofficial “Fight of the Night.” In the final minute, with judges’ scores potentially all over the board, Cruz unleashed a vicious flying knee that left Nguyen out cold on the floor.
The fight was called off with 24 seconds left in the third, and the finish was so spectacular, UFC president Dana White committed to signing Cruz before the result was even read.
Bizarrely, it wasn’t the only finish to stem from a flying knee at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. Middleweight Aleksa Camur (5-0) repeated the feat in the very next fight, toppling Fabio Cherant (4-1) with a flying knee before finishing the fight with punches on the floor.
Impressive, but not in the same class as Cruz’s result – one of the all-time great flying-knee finishes and perhaps the best knockout in the history of Dana White’s Contender Series.
For the record, White delivered on his promise, officially tendering Cruz a UFC deal at the conclusion of the show, a result that even Jorge Masvidal must deem “super necessary.”
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