A light-heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba has been rebooked for UFC 254 on October 24 in Abu Dhabi. The fight has been booked on several occasions after their first bout ended in controversial fashion. Ankalaev and Cutelaba first squared off at UFC Norfolk on February 29.
In the fight, Ankalaev started well throwing a series of high kicks that appeared to be doing damage. Despite the fact Cutelaba was still standing referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and stopped the fight just 38 seconds into the first round. The Moldavian fighter reacted angrily to the stoppage and one look at the replay tells you exactly why.
Cutelaba announced post-fight that he intended to appeal the loss. That appeal was denied, and the rematch was booked for UFC 249 which was originally set to take place in April before the card was postponed due to the COVID-19. The fight was rebooked for UFC 252 in August, but it again failed to come to fruition, this time due to a positive coronavirus test from Cutelaba. Ankalaev-Cutelaba II was again rebooked for UFC Vegas 8. Cutelaba tested positive for the virus again and the fight was pulled from the card just hours before it was set to begin.
Cutelaba holds notable UFC wins over the likes of Khalil Rountree and Gadzhimurad Antigulov. He has previously fallen short against Glover Teixeira and Jared Cannonier. The 26-year-old is currently eight fights into his UFC career during which he has won four and lost four.
Ankalaev is 4-1 in the UFC with wins over Marcin Prachnio, Klidson Abreu, Dalcha Lungiambula and Cutelaba. He is currently ranked #13 in the UFC light heavyweight division. The Russian prospect’s lone UFC defeat came against Paul Craig who scored a last-second submission against him back in 2018.
Let’s hope we finally get to see this eagerly anticipated rematch at UFC 254 which is set to be headlined by a lightweight unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
Who wins if/when Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba rematch at UFC 254?