Breaking: Per sources, UFC rebooking last week’s controversial bout between Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev to UFC 249 in April in Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/UUGqAf65rY— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 5, 2020
Hot off the heels of a controversial result, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is rebooking a high-stakes light heavyweight match for April.
On Thursday, ESPN announced that the UFC will be running back the 205-pound collision between Magomed Ankalaev (13-1) and Ion Cutelaba (15-5, 1 NC). The two met at UFC Fight Night 169, and the controversial ending saw Ankalaev awarded the victory when Cutelaba was apparently “playing possum.” The two will meet UFC 249 in April, seven weeks after their first.
Ankalaev has stopped his opponent in three of four victories inside the Octagon. Prior to the Cutelaba result, he finished Dalcha Lungiambula with a front kick and follow-up punches in November. His promotional debut saw him up big on the scorecards against Paul Craig, but the Russian fell victim to a literal last-second triangle choke that ejected him from the ranks of the unbeaten. Ankalaev expressed no interest in a rematch in post-fight interviews.
Cutelaba sports a finish rate of 93 percent, only winning one bout by decision against Jonathan Wilson in 2016. Since dropping a decision to Jared Cannonier later that year, all five of his next bouts -- win or lose -- have ended within the first two rounds. Cutelaba is also currently seeking an appeal to overturn the loss to Ankalaev.
UFC 249 goes down at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18. The event will be headlined by a lightweight championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. The co-main attraction draws a strawweight rematch, with Jessica Andrade coming to blows with Rose Namajunas for a second time.