From almost fighting before the match started, to a controversial finish and a fighter flipping off the crowd, Ion Cutelabam vs. Magomed Ankalaev was one for the books. During the main card of UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo, Ion “The Hulk” Cutelabam took on Magomed Ankalaev, and it was chaos right off the bat.
As Bruce Buffer was introducing The Hulk, the fighter marched to the other side of the Octagon to his opponent Ankalaev, and got in his face. This prompted Ankalaev to grab Cutelabam and the officials to break it up. Here is the video via ESPN MMA:
The Hulk went back to his side of the Octagon, and Buffer continued his introduction.
When the fight started, both men came out aggressive. Ankalaev clipped Cutelabam, and continued to land vicious strikes, including multiple head kicks. The Hulk was visibly hurt, but he was still standing and firing back. However, the referee saw enough and stopped the fight, prompting outrage from The Hulk and disapproval from the Norfolk, Va. audience.
Here’s the finish via UFC’s Twitter:
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Magomed Ankalaev Won The Fight via First-Round Knockout, Flips Off Crowd
Controversial decision or not, Ankalaev is the official winner of the bout. His victory was deemed a KO, 38 seconds into the first round. After his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping, Ankalaev proceeded to flip off the booing crowd.
It’s unclear at the moment if The Hulk plans on appealing the decision, or if the UFC is considering a rematch between the two light heavyweights.
After this loss, Cutelabam’s professional MMA record falls to 15-5 and one no contest. With Ankalaev picking up the win, his record improves to 14-1.
UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo’s Main Event Ended With a Brutal Finish
February 29’s card was headlined by a flyweight showdown between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo. The two men were scheduled to fight for Henry Cejudo’s vacant title, but Figueiredo missed weight, making him ineligible to win the belt. The title was up for grabs for Benavidez, but he was unable to capture gold.
Figueiredo finished Benavidez in the second round. Because Figueiredo wasn’t eligible to win the title, the flyweight belt remains vacant. It’s unclear at the moment what the UFC’s plan is for the title, but presumably Figueiredo will be booked to fight for it again.
An option for Figueiredo’s next opponent is the winner of #2 ranked Jussier Formiga vs. #5 ranked Brandon Moreno. They are scheduled to fight on March 14 at UFC Fight Night 170. Another direction for the UFC could be a rematch. Because Figueiredo missed weight and Benavidez received a significant cut above his eye from a headbutt, the promotion may consider booking an instant rematch.