Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev Will Run It Back at UFC 249

Ion Cutelaba, UFC Norfolk
Ion Cutelaba, UFC Norfolk official weigh-in Credit; Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

The promising Ion Cutelaba vs. Magomed Ankalaev light heavyweight scrap at UFC Norfolk looked like it would end in a post-fight bonus at the very least. Two very motivated athletes, throwing everything and the kitchen sink — until one of the most glaring bad stoppages in recent memory brought to action to a sudden halt. Thankfully, the pair will run it back at UFC 249 in April.

ESPN was first to report the development.

The backdrop to the chaotic scene at UFC Norfolk had Cutelaba getting right in Ankalaev’s face prior to the fight. Once the bell sounded, both men were throwing hard and often. Ankalaev rattled off a number of high kicks, but most of them seemed to be blocked.

Cutelaba, however, briefly appeared wobbled — though to many, he seemed to be playing possum, trying to lure Ankalaev into range.

That’s when referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and waved off the fight. Despite Cutelaba still intelligently defending himself, and worse, despite the fact that the Moldovan was throwing a haymaker when the fight was actually called.

The finish robbed fans of a promising war. Cutelaba immediately protested the stoppage, and later vowed to appeal the result. Ankalaev, post-fight, flipped off fans who were vocal in their displeasure with the outcome. He’d later tell media members including Cageside Press that he believed he had won the fight — but that he was open to a rematch.

That’s what will happen at UFC 249 on April 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Cutelaba vs. Ankalaev II joins a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson at the event.