Magomed Ankalaev fired away with Ion Cutelaba for as long as the fight lasted before it was abruptly stopped at UFC Norfolk.
Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev were a pair of unranked light heavyweights looking to make a statement at UFC Norfolk.
A dominant showing by either man would bring with it the possibility of a berth in the UFC rankings. Ankalaev entered the evening on a three-fight win streak, most recently putting Dalcha Lungiambula down with a front kick at UFC Moscow back in November. Cutelaba, meanwhile, had won three of his last four. The only loss in that stretch came to ex-title challenger Glover Teixeira. A TKO of Khalil Rountree Jr. was the result of his latest outing.
Both men were just hitting their prime, Ankalaev at 27, Cutelaba a year younger at 26. Part of the 205lb division’s future, one fighter was going to take a big step forward at UFC Norfolk.
Things were very heated to start off the fight, as Cutelaba walked right into Ankalaev’s face as his name was being announced, and the pair had to be separated. Right off the bat, Ankalaev rocked Cutelaba with a big shot. Ankalaev followed up with several head kicks that were just blocked. Cutelaba looked stunned, but still in the fight as he was likely playing up how rocked he was.
However, the referee then stepped in and waved the action off, much to Cutelaba’s anger. The crowd erupted in boos for one of the most ridiculous stoppages you’ll ever see.
— UFC (@ufc) March 1, 2020
Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cuțelaba by TKO (Head Kick and Punches) in Round 1 (0:38)