UFC Paris: Cristian Quiñónez Drops, Finishes Taha In First Round

Khalid Taha and Cristian Quinonez, UFC Paris Ceremonial Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Paris, France – Bantamweights Khalid Taha and Cristian Quiñónez faced off on the prelims of the UFC’s first ever Paris card on Saturday, September 3rd.

As the veteran with five fights in the promotion – but winless in his last three – it would be up to Khalid Taha to defend his job against the onslaught of the Contender Series alumnus in Quiñónez, making his UFC debut. Meanwhile, Quiñónez wanted to get off to a strong start after his 2021 performance that earned him a contract.

Both men are known as strikers and so it seemed likely that this fight would be contested primarily on the feet. Quiñónez came out trying to use his reach, as he was a few inches longer and taller, to avoid the bombs of the shorter Taha while dealing damage from range. As such, his jab was prolific from the start. Khalid would periodically blitz forward throwing hooks, which was the cue for Quiñónez to become evasive. The front-foot heavy Taha reacted poorly to a few low kicks early and had trouble getting past his opponent’s length in fifty-fifty exchanges.

It was not long before one of these exchanges saw an impatient Taha try to brute force his way past the jab, only to get intercepted by a short, straight right hand which sat down the German. The Entram Gym trained Quiñónez jumped immediately his the grounded and quick ground strikes caused the ref to jump in and save Taha from further damage. There are not many UFC debuts that go more smoothly than that and Quiñónez is already on the map in the stacked bantamweight division.


Cristian Quiñonez def. Khalid Taha via R1 3:15 TKO