Ligthweight Daron Cruickshank continued his trend of highlight-reel finishes at UFC Fight Night 40 as he blasted out Erik Koch in the first round of their lightweight contest in Cincinnati. “The Detroit Superstar” once again utilized a head kick to turn the tide in a close contest as he badly hurt Koch with a left leg kick to the head and followed with a huge right uppercut and ground-and-pound strikes to seal the deal.
Cruickshank once again displayed his dangerous and diverse striking game in picking up his ninth career stoppage via knockout. He’s an impressive 15-4 with five of those victories inside the Octagon. Cruickshank has also produced electrifying finishes of Mike Rio and Henry Martinez, and seems to be getting better and growing in confidence with each passing fight. He was expected to be in tough against the former featherweight contender, but passed the test against Koch with flying colors.
As for “New Breed,” it’s a bitter pill to swallow after making a successful debut at the 155-pound weight class against Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 170. The 25-year-old truly believed the lightweight division was the right fit after beginning his UFC career in the 145-pound weight class.
He made the move up in weight after suffering back-to-back losses to Ricardo Lamas and Dustin Poirier. After enjoying success with the first-round finish of Oliveira back in February, Koch will now need to regroup after being finished in emphatic fashion. He falls to 14-4 with the setback.
When the fight was first announced, it was expected that the aggressive style of both fighters along with their finishing abilities would likely lead to a violent conclusion in Ohio. It was Cruickshank proving he’s one to watch in the 155-pound division after producing the most significant victory of his career.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.