LAS VEGAS — Flying knees have been within the air Tuesday evening throughout Dana White’s Contender Collection.
The UFC awarded contracts to 4 athletes, two of whom ended their fights in spectacular vogue with flying knees. Mild heavyweight Aleksa Camur (5-0) knocked out Fabio Cherant with a flying knee 48 seconds into the second spherical, and featherweight Aalon Cruz (8-2) floored Steve Nguyen with one on the 4:36 mark of the ultimate spherical.
Cruz’s flying knee was particularly gorgeous, because it got here within the ultimate 30 seconds of a aggressive, back-and-forth affair. White instantly motioned to Cruz that he’d simply earned a UFC contract.
The title image within the welterweight division ought to clear up when the UFC hits Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday. In the principle occasion, high contender Colby Covington takes on former champion Robbie Lawler, with a title shot possible subsequent for Covington ought to he earn a victory. “Chaos” is on a six-fight win streak however hasn’t fought in over a 12 months. Lawler, in the meantime, hasn’t gained within the Octagon in over two years.
UFC on ESPN: Covington vs. Lawler
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• Prelims: ESPN, midday ET
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“That is really my first knockout,” Cruz stated. “I drill flying knees on a regular basis, however I hardly ever throw them in fights. He is such a forward-pressure fighter. I hit him with one earlier, and he caught my leg. There have been 30 seconds left within the spherical; I believed I would as properly throw it.”
White stated, “He is precisely what I am searching for. No secrets and techniques: I already confirmed my hand earlier with him. He is in.”
Along with Cruz and Camur, who’s a sparring companion of former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in Cleveland, the UFC signed girls’s flyweight Tracy Cortez (5-1) and heavyweight Rodrigo Nascimento (7-0). Cortez defeated Mariya Agapova by way of unanimous choice, and Nascimento submitted Michal Martinek within the first spherical.
Regardless of failing to safe a end, Cortez, 25, delivered an inspiring efficiency in her sixth skilled battle. The Arizonian fights in reminiscence of her late brother, Jose, who died in 2011 from germ cell most cancers. Jose was additionally an expert fighter, whose dream was to battle within the UFC. Cortez wears a tattoo on her shoulder of Jose sporting a UFC shirt.
Cortez ate some massive pictures early on from Agapova, a striker out of Kazakhstan, however ultimately labored her grappling and dominated on the bottom en path to a choice.
“After they first walked out they usually squared off, and this woman [Agapova] appears to be like like Joanna Jedrzejczyk in her stance and she or he begins lighting Tracy Cortez up, I am like, ‘Oh, God, that is going to be actually one-sided,'” White stated. “I used to be proper, however with the fallacious individual. Her story, she nearly made me cry like three or 4 instances tonight.
“She’s acquired a ton of coronary heart, floor, standup. She solely is aware of one factor: to maneuver ahead. I can not say sufficient good issues about her.”
For Nascimento, of Brazil, it was his sixth profession win inside the primary spherical. White talked about the promotion may need a battle lined up for him as early as August.
The one winner on the evening to overlook out on a contract was welterweight Daniel Rodriguez, who took a unanimous choice over Rico Farrington. The bout was principally a standup affair, though Rodriguez made a behavior of scoring late takedowns in every of the three rounds.