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Midnight Mania! Ion Cutelaba’s appeal of controversial TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev is denied by Virginia athletic commission

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UFC Fight Night: Cutelaba v Ankalaev Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

File this one under: disappointed but not surprised.

Back on Feb. 29, 2020 at UFC Norfolk, Magomed Ankalaev was awarded the first-round knockout victory over Ion Cutelaba. The problem? Cutelaba was definitely not unconscious nor incapable of defending himself. In fact, Cutelaba was throwing a punch as the referee intervened. To compound the issue further, Cutelaba claims he was playing possum and acting, a tactic he’s turned to in the past.

As a result of the early stoppage, the pair were booked for a rematch, and Cutelaba’s management filed an appeal with the Virginia athletic commission. Unfortunately, even when officials make blatantly wrong calls, athletic commissions are loathe to admit their fault.

Per Ariel Helwani, Cutelaba’s appeal was denied, and the loss will stand.

Re-watch the clip below and judge for yourself:

While not as blatant as Anthony Johnson’s absurd eye poke “knockout” loss to Kevin Burns back in 2008 (another denied appeal), it’s pretty clear that Cutelaba was still intelligently defending himself. Regardless of whether he was actually hurt, acting, or some mix, “Hulk” was firing back consistently.

These things happen in MMA.

Insomnia

Tito Ortiz quotes always make me feel so coherent:

Tony Ferguson is in a league of his own when it comes to MMA speed bag workouts:

There is still hope for UFC to return on May 9th!

Jorge Masvidal has been one of the most skilled fighters in the sport since like 2010, and half of his decision losses are at the very least debatable (if not outright awful). Whether you’re a fan of “Gamebred” or not, put some respect on that man’s name!

A cool throwback to arguably the most dominant team of its era:

Hopefully Aljamain Sterling is able to get some type of training in soon, because he deserves his spot in the Bantamweight title picture.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

The old days were f*cking nuts.

Arm drag to a behind-the-back wrist wrap to a big slam — I love all these things!

The rolling knee bar is always a risk from turtle/referee’s position!

Random Land

Despite living in California and being a fighter myself — two factors that greatly increase my personal likelihood — I am not a weed guy. Nevertheless, I do feel Midnight Mania is (unintentionally?) a column that appeals more than most to our stoned audience. The blurbs do not require prolonged attention, there’s music, and of course the whole late night, zany vibe at play.

So with that in mind, thanks for reading reefers! Merry 4/20!

Midnight Music: Another Monday, another selection of Discover Weekly tracks to listen to and help narrow my choices!

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.