Moldovan striker, Ion ‘The Hulk’ Cuţelaba has been forced from his light heavyweight rematch with Magomed Ankalaev once more, testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of tonight’s long-anticipated re-run at UFC Fight Night Vegas 8.
Cuţelaba, 26, was expected to meet with Ankalaev on August 15th. at UFC 252, but provided a positive novel coronavirus test before that tie also. This is the fourth occasion a rebooked pairing of Cuţelaba and Ankalaev has fallen to the wayside.
The light heavyweight contenders initially clashed at UFC Fight Night Norfolk in February – with that matching ending in hugely controversial circumstances. Prior to the opening exchanges, during the pre-fight announcements, Cuţelaba stormed across to the Octagon to Ankalaev, with the two involved in a scuffle.
Less than forty-seconds into the opening round, Ankalaev appeared to have wobbled Cuţelaba with a head kick, before the Moldovan blocked and parried various offence afterwards. With Cuţelaba seemingly still dazed, referee Kevin MacDonald called a halt to the action, which the division upstart immediately protested after an apparent early stoppage.
The promotion released an official statement ahead of tonight’s event, addressing Cuţelaba’s positive test return, noting how they will attempt to rebook the 205-pound affair once again.
“Due to a positive COVID-19 test, Ion Cuţelaba’s light heavyweight fight against Magomed Ankalaev has been removed from today’s undercard and will be rescheduled for a later date.“
Tonight’s event will take place as scheduled with ten bouts taking place instead of the originally penned eleven fight card.