A highly anticipated rematch between Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev has been cancelled after Cutelaba tested positive for COVID-19.
The news was first reported by Igor Lazorin of TASS news agency. The fight has now been rescheduled for August 28.
The pair previously fought at UFC Fight Night 169 in Norfolk, Virginia and in that fight Magomed Ankalaev knocked out Ion Cutelaba in just 38-seconds.
The stoppage was a highly controversial one as both fighters came guns blazing right from the opening bell and Ankalaev controlled the fight with his leg kicks and maintain sufficient distance from the Moldovian.
Cutelaba was able to sneak in a few punches, but Magomed soon landed a leg kick which wobbled Cutelaba and he followed it up with combinations and none of the punches were landing, but the referee still stepped in to stop the fight.
Ion Cutelaba flaunted his acting skills
Cutelaba later acknowledged that his acting skills which was meant for his opponent had managed to fool the referee as well.
“I will have to be hit by a train to or lightning to knock me out do not come at me with these weak and very visible shots that even NASA can see them from the satellite. Everyone beside the referee seen that I was defending very well and counterattacked every shot,” Cutelaba wrote.
“My gameplan was very good, my acting as everyone could see it fouled even the referee. Ankalaev is not to blame for anything but how I told him after the early stoppage he was very lucky and should thank the referee. Now the Virginia athletic commission is checking all the facts and recordings and soon enough we will have a decision,” Cutelaba concluded.
Ion’s camp made an appeal to the Virginia state athletic commission to overturn the decision, but it was denied.
With Ion Cutelaba vs Magomed Ankalaev getting removed from UFC 252, the main card will now start with a bantamweight fight between John Dodson and Merab Dvalishvili. While the fans may not get to see the clash this weekend, they would have to wait till the end of the month to watch the highly anticipated rematch.
Full UFC 252 fight card:
- Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
- Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera
- Junior Dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
- Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pachel
- Ashley Yoder vs. Livinha Souza
- Chris Daukaus vs. Virna Jandiroba
- Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda
- TJ Brown vs. Danny Chaves
Which fight are you most excited about at UFC 252? Let us know in the comments section below.