UFC light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba says he was playing possum when the referee controversially stopped his fight against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Norfolk.
Referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and stopped the fight after Ankalaev landed several kicks and a punch, but replays showed that Cutelaba blocked the majority of the incoming strikes. Cutelaba did appear to be wobbling, which the referee obviously was concerned with, but the Moldovan fighter says that was all an act.
Check out below what Cutelaba told ESPN about the stoppage.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 1, 2020
“Every throw the opponent did, he controlled that, everything. When the referee stopped the fight, he was countering. Every throw he did, (he) was trying not to hit him. That was the gameplan. Also the moment (when I wobbled), this was a part of the gameplan. And the referee think that he fell, but that was part of the gameplan. And the moment when they stopped, he was already fighting with him,” Cutelaba said through his interpreter.
Cutelaba was obviously not happy with the premature stoppage, and neither were his peers as a number of UFC fighters took to Cutelaba’s defense on their social media and labeled the stoppage as one of the worst they have ever seen in the UFC. Ankalaev was not at fault here because the referee made a bad stoppage, but the fans at UFC Norfolk nevertheless heavily booed him.
It’s possible the UFC will look to run this one back as we never truly got the closure that anyone wanted due to the referee stopping the fight early. You know that Cutelaba wants the rematch, and Ankalaev says he’s open to it as well, so now it will come down to what the UFC matchmakers want to do.
It should be mentioned that Cutelaba said on Twitter he plans on appealing the stoppage.
First thing monday morning we will be talking to the comission to make the apeal. Hopefully they see What all fans watching tonight saw and correct this injustice.Thank YOU for your suport! pic.twitter.com/PnyagnW3F0
— Ion Cutelaba (@ICutelaba) March 1, 2020
First thing monday morning we will be talking to the comission to make the apeal. Hopefully they see What all fans watching tonight saw and correct this injustice.Thank YOU for your suport!
What did you think of the stoppage in the Ion Cutelaba vs. Magomed Ankalaev fight?