After their first meeting ended with controversy, Magomed Ankalaev left no room for questions at UFC 254, knocking Ion Cutelaba unconscious in the first round.
It took four tries, but we finally got to see Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba throw down at UFC 254. The pair of heavy-handed light heavyweights first fought in February in a 38-second fight full of non-stop action. However, it ended in controversy after a stumble by Cutelaba that caused the referee to stop the fight. The first time it was rescheduled, the event was canceled due to COVID-19. Then in August, Cutelaba tested positive for the virus. The bout was pushed back two weeks, only for Cutelaba to test positive again.
Ankalaev came in on a four-fight win streak with three stoppages. Barring the controversial fight against Ankalaev, Cutelaba had won three of his last four with three stoppages and the lone loss coming against former title challenger Glover Teixeira.
Cutelaba started the fight with a body kick and Ankalaev responded with a leg kick. This rematch had a much more calm start than their first fight, but at the one-minute mark, Ankalaev landed a head kick. Cutelaba countered a leg kick with a slick overhand right then landed a right straight. Ankalaev answered with a body kick but was being forced backward by Cutelaba’s forward movement. There was a brief clinch and Ankalaev hit a knee to the body. Cutelaba continued moving forward, tried to spin, and was knocked down with a swift left hand. He bounced back up, charged forward, and Ankalaev crushed him with a right hook-left hook combination. Ankalaev followed him to the ground and knocked him unconscious, leaving no room for doubt in the rematch.
Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cutelaba by KO (Left Hook and Punches) in Round 1 (4:19)