Slo-mo footage shows the exact moment Dominick Cruz's nose was broken in his KO loss to Chito Vera

·3 min read
Chito Vera viciously knocks Dominick Cruz out.
Chito Vera viciously knocks Dominick Cruz out.Photo by Getty Images
  • Chito Vera scored an impressive win Saturday when he knocked out Dominick Cruz.

  • A slow-motion video replay shows how devastating Vera's fight-finishing head kick truly was.

  • A close-up photo of the impact zone shows Cruz's nose is bent and out of shape.

Dominick Cruz, one of the best UFC bantamweights of all time, suffered a knockout loss so brutal Saturday that it potentially spelled the end of his time competing at the highest echelons of world MMA.

Chito Vera beat Cruz in the fourth round with a head kick to cap the 13-fight card that took place at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego on ESPN and ESPN+.

There were numerous times that Vera's savage striking appeared to rearrange Cruz's face in the fight, but the final blow — that head kick — caused considerable damage as it shattered the American's nose.

The scale of Vera's power was emphasized when ESPN replayed the finish using slow-motion technology.

CBS reporter Shakiel Mahjouri even said it looked like a "baseball bat to the face."

Re-live the live footage right here:

Here's the slow-motion replay:


The close-up photo below shows how bent out of shape Cruz's nose was:

A close-up of Cruz's nose following Vera's head kick.
A close-up of Cruz's nose following Vera's head kick.Photo by MMA Fighting / ESPN / UFC

Vera was unfazed at the spectacular nature of his own win

Speaking to reporters at a post-fight press conference that followed the event, Vera played down the nature of his win despite the way it stunned those who saw it live.

"Honestly, me and my team, we really think the way he fights is kind of very low-level," Vera said.

A former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, Cruz is one of the most tested competitors in mixed martial arts, as he's scored wins over Joseph Benavidez (twice), Urijah Faber, and Demetrious Johnson.

It is perhaps a testament to how highly regarded Cruz is that the commentary team and audience members looked so visibly shocked after Vera's head kick flattened him in an instant.

Check Michael Bisping's reaction in particular:

Chito Vera's knockout win stunned onlookers.
Chito Vera's knockout win stunned onlookers.Photo by Getty Images

Neither Vera nor his team were that surprised, though, the Ecuadorian fighter said.

"There's no base, there's no good stance," he said, criticizing Cruz post-fight.

"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."

It is unclear when Vera will fight again.

The UFC, though, returns Saturday for a big pay-per-view show that takes place at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

UFC 278 poster.
UFC 278 poster.Photo by UFC

Kamaru Usman puts his UFC welterweight championship on the line against Leon Edwards in the main event.

Paulo Costa fights Luke Rockhold in the co-main; Jose Aldo competes in a bantamweight match against Merab Dvalishvili; and heavyweights Marcin Tybura and Alexander Romanov also compete on the main card.

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