Ion Cutelaba is helping bring some fresh blood, and a little fun, to the light heavyweight division.
Calgary, AB — The light heavyweight division saw the return of Ion Cutelaba on Saturday, a welcome infusion of blood into a stagnant weight class that has nearly ground to a halt. Part of that is due to champ Daniel Cormier moving up and claiming the heavyweight title as well. Yet the blame is not entirely Cormier’s, nor anyone’s, really. Challengers are continually being knocked off, and those few fighters on decent streaks are either new faces (Anthony Smith) or lacking in the promotion department (Corey Anderson). As a result, Cutelaba’s return — from a USADA suspension for an ozone therapy treatment involving a blood transfusion — is a welcome one.
Especially since Cutelaba, who was previously seen painted green like The Hulk at UFC weigh ins, opted to dress up as Brett Hart while walking out at UFC on FOX 30. Well, he wore the wrap-around sunglasses, anyway. No pink spandex — no way would Reebok have cleared that.
On the subject of “The Best there was, The Best there is, and The Best there ever will be,” and pro wrestling in general, Cutelaba said that “I’m a big fan, but especially because I’m in Canada, I knew Canadians like Brett so much. I wanted to inspire everybody, and to show that I’m probably better than him.”
Well, maybe not in a ring, but in the octagon, there’s no question. Cutelaba (14–3 (1)), just twenty-four years old, finished Gadzhimurad Antigulov in the final minute of the very first round. He’s now on a two-fight win streak, and 3-2 in the UFC overall. A modest streak, but at light heavyweight it’s a solid foundation.
Via translator, Cutelaba said that he “wants the belt like everybody else,” and was looking for the best opponent possible. Though he didn’t have anyone in particular in mind.
Check out the full post-fight scrum with Ion Cutelaba above.