Ion Cutelaba loses appeal, TKO loss at UFC Norfolk will stand

Feb 29, 2020; Norfolk, Virginia, USA; Ion Cutelaba (red gloves) reacts to losing against Magomed Ankalaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chartway Arena. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba rebooked for UFC 254 on Oct. 24

Lets try this again.

The light-heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba is being rebooked for the fourth time. The two are scheduled to meet at UFC 254 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 24

Both of their most recent octagon appearances came against one another. Ankalaev defeated Cutelaba via first-round TKO at UFC on ESPN+ 27 back in February. The stoppage by referee Kevin MacDonald received a lot of negative criticism for calling the fight too soon. 

The rebooking of the matchup is also quite controversial. The two were slated to fight at UFC 249 this past April, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The promotion rebooked the bout for UFC 252 in August, but Cutelaba tested positive for the coronavirus. The fight was rebooked for a third time at UFC on ESPN+ 33 in August, but Cutelaba tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time. 

Ankalaev made quite the rebound since losing his octagon debut, a third-round submission loss to Paul Craig at UFC Fight Night 127 in March 2018. He rattled off four-straight victories, including wins against Marcin Prachino, Klidson Abreu, Dalcha Lungiambula and Cutelaba. 

Cutelaba is the winner of one of his last three bouts, a part of his 4-4 record inside the octagon. He picked up a first-round TKO win against Khalil Rountree at UFC on ESPN+ 18 in September 2019.

Current UFC 254 fight card:

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje – 155 lbs
Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris – 265 lbs
Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier – 185 lbs
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Islam Makhachev – 155 lbs
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba – 205 lbs
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lauren Murphy – 125 lbs
Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov – 135 lbs
Da Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey – 205 lbs
Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick – 125 lbs

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