Ion Cutelaba, who had battled COVID-19 earlier in the month, has again tested positive for the virus. That has forced his fight with Magomed Ankalaev off UFC Vegas 8, just hours before the event was set to get underway.
In a statement released via their official website, UFC officials wrote that “Due to a positive COVID-19 test, Ion Cutelaba’s light heavyweight fight against Magomed Ankalaev has been removed from today’s undercard and will be rescheduled for a later date.”
The pair were expected to open the main card of Saturday’s event, which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It’s a rematch of their February bout at UFC Norfolk, which saw Ankalaev walk away with a controversial win after what many felt was an early stoppage.
Cashing in on that controversy, the UFC worked to book a rematch, first in April at UFC 249. When that bout fell through, Cutelaba was briefly paired with Ovince Saint Preux, before being re-booked with Ankalaev for earlier this month.
A positive COVID-19 test but the kibosh on that. However, it was believed that the Moldavan light heavyweight had kicked the virus.
Interestingly enough, Cutelaba took part in this week’s media day without additional precautions, such teleconferencing from his hotel room. Likely indicating that it was his most recent test only that raised the alarm.
The UFC has not indicated when they intend to reschedule the fight for. There are several options available in September, but first Cutelaba will need a clean bill of health.