24-Year-Old UFC Light Heavyweight 13-3-0, 1NC
April 30, 2018 Ion Cutelaba News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Cutelaba (suspension) will face Gadzhimurad Antigulov in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC Calgary on July 28, the Calgary Sun reports.
Cutelaba was originally supposed to throw down with Antigulov at UFC 217 last November, but an out-of-competition positive sample resulted in a six-month suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). He'll now return just a few weeks after first gaining back his eligibility on May 3. Cutelaba is statistically a better striker, and will hold height and reach advantages in the matchup. His takedown defense sits at 80 percent through four UFC bouts, which will be an important factor given Antigulov has picked up both of his UFC wins via submission.
Ion Cutelaba: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisCutelaba was first notified of the suspension back in November when his fight with Gadzhimurad Antigulov at UFC 217 was cancelled. With Cutelaba's suspension being reduced, he will be eligible to fight again on May 3, 2018.
Fantasy AnalysisCutelaba's fight with Gadzhimurad Antigulov was called off due to this violation, marking the 15th time this year that a UFC fight has been called off within 48 hours of the bout. It remains to be seen how long Cutelaba will be suspended for, as the USADA will need to make a decision in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisCutelaba has had an up-and-down record with the UFC since debuting in 2016. He scored his first stoppage with the promotion against Henrique da Silva (KO/TKO-punch) in his last fight to move his record to 13-3, 1NC (2-2 UFC). The southpaw lands an average 4.15 significant strikes per minute and has 10 KO/TKO victories.
Fantasy AnalysisUtter domination. There are very few man who would have been able to eat the bombs that Cutelaba connected with on Saturday. Although he is just 2-2 in his UFC career, there are reasons to be optimistic moving forward. Cutelaba obviously has crazy power in his hands, and at age 23, it is reasonable to expect significant improvement from him on a fight-by-fight basis.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was another example of careless, reckless fighting costing a guy a loss, although in Cutelaba's defense, Cannonier fought exactly the same way. Cutelaba was the far more efficient fighter in Round 1, but he got hit more and more as the fight progressed and the momentum swung towards Cannonier. Cutelaba landed six of seven takedown attempts, but he did little with the position advantage and ultimately was getting picked apart on the feet over the final two rounds. It was a tough result for Cutelaba who entered the fight as a -230 favorite. The 22-year-old is now 1-2 in his brief UFC career.
Fantasy AnalysisCutelaba dominated the striking for three rounds over Jonathan Wilson. Over the course of the fight, he forced Wilson to retreat and continually scored with clean striking. Wilson did land several power shots that marked up Cutelaba's face, but the Moldovan fighter was in the drivers seat for the whole time.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was a more than respectable UFC debut for Cutelaba. Facing the talented and powerful Cirkunov, Cutelaba landed numerous power shots, particularly in Round 1. Still, he was likely down 20-18 on the scorecards heading into the third and final frame. Knowing full well that Cirkunov had the fight-ending arm-triangle sunk in deeply, Cutelaba tapped out almost immediately. Still, there were plenty of positive signs for the 22-year-old Cutelaba. Fighting in a light heavyweight division that lacks virtually any young, talented fighters, the native of Moldova is worth keeping an eye on.