Ion Cutelaba denied appeal in controversial TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev

Ion Cutelaba
Image via @ufc on Instagram

UFC light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba had his appeal denied in his controversial TKO loss to Magomedov Ankalaev at UFC Norfolk.

Cutelaba protested the stoppage with the Boxing, Martial Arts, and Professional Wrestling Advisory Board in Virginia just days after the controversial stoppage at UFC Norfolk, which many fellow fighters, fans, and media rated as one of the worst stoppages ever in a UFC fight. Cutelaba was absolutely livid with the stoppage and his team promptly appealed it.

Ankalaev connected on a series of high kicks and appeared to hurt Cutelaba, but as seen clearly on the replay, Cutelaba was clearly not hurt as he blocked the majority of the kicks. He was even throwing strikes back at Ankalaev when referee Kevin MacDonald prematurely stepped in and stopped the fight due to TKO, which make the stoppage look even worse.

The UFC matchmakers also didn’t like the stoppage, either, and they booked Cutelaba and Ankalaev in a rematch at UFC 249, an event that was ultimately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But even despite being granted a rematch, Cutelaba was still steadfast in his desire to see the result of the bout overturned.

On Monday, Cutelaba received news that the result of the contest will not be overturned, and officially Ankalaev wins the fight via first-round TKO. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was more.

Ankalaev stoppage in Virginia back in February? Cutelaba’s team appealed the TKO stoppage and found out today their appeal was denied, I’m told. It will remain a TKO win for Ankalaev. They were supposed to rematch at 249. TBD now.

It’s still very possible the UFC could book the rematch once the coronavirus protocol is lifted. UFC president Dana White has been saying the promotion plans on having international fighters compete at “Fight Island,” so this fight could potentially take place there once the UFC resumes its schedule. In the meantime, Cutelaba’s loss stands.

Do you think Ion Cutelaba should have seen the result overturned?