Magomed Ankalaev may have technically defeated Ion Cutelaba via first-round knockout earlier tonight (Sat., Feb. 29, 2020) at UFC Fight Night 169 live on ESPN+ from inside Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia, but the anticipated light heavyweight affair was ultimately splashed with controversy.
Evident by the near brawl that ensued during the pre-fight introductions, Ankalaev and Cutelaba came out guns blazing. “Hulk” hung in tough and exchanged with the Russian striker but ultimately ate a combination that left him hurt. Ankalaev pressed forward with hard head kicks and punches, but nothing landed cleanly. Cutelaba seemed to be surviving and blocking most of the shots — even throwing a swooping right hand in the process — but referee Kevin MacDonald had still seen enough to step in for the premature stoppage.
Check out the finishing sequence above and the pre-fight antics below, both courtesy of UFC/ESPN.
Security had to step in before this one even got started... pic.twitter.com/Wu9ePy3kYC— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 1, 2020
This obviously isn’t the outcome fight fans expected when looking at this 205-pound clash as one of the top interests on the UFC Norfolk card. Ankalaev stated in his post-fight interview that he would be down to run things back with Cutelaba so expect UFC to re-book this thing right away.
For complete UFC Norfolk results and coverage click here.