Cristian Quinonez is now 1-0 in the UFC, though not without a little controversy.
The Contender Series bantamweight signing made a successful octagon debut Saturday at UFC Paris, cracking Khalid Taha with a right hand and finishing with ground-and-pound for a first-round TKO victory.
Watch the impressive finish above.
Taha immediately protested the stoppage, though replays showed that Taha looked to be badly hurt from the initial shot that caused him to drop to the mat. Referee Rich Mitchell officially waved off the bout at the 3:15 mark of Round 1.
Several fighters on social media also questioned the timing of the stoppage, including welterweight contender Belal Muhammad, who wrote, “That was early.”
That was early
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) September 3, 2022
Maybe it’s a little too early to call a halt? Solid win for Quinonez
— Vince Morales (@vandetta135) September 3, 2022
Regardless of Taha’s protestations, he now falls to 1-4 (1 NC) in the UFC. He has not won since defeating Boston Salmon in April 2019.
Quinonez improves to 17-3 as a pro and has now won five straight fights. He stepped in on 10 days’ notice as a replacement for French fighter Taylor Lapilus, who withdrew due to injury.