Preview: UFC Fight Night 215 ‘Lewis vs. Spivak’

Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba

Light Heavyweights

Kennedy Nzechukwu (10-3, 4-3 UFC) vs. Ion Cutelaba (16-8-1, 5-7-1 UFC)

ODDS: Nzechukwu (-175), Cutelaba (+150)

Cutelaba has slowly been letting his rage carry his fighting style to increasingly diminishing returns. Moldova’s “Hulk” came to the UFC in 2016 at just 22 years old with some promising well-rounded skills, enough so that he retained some prospect shine even through a rocky start to his run in the promotion. However, after finding most of his success via first-round finish, Cutelaba has pressed things more and more, getting out to hot starts and eventually imploding at some point during his fights. There was some hope Cutelaba had turned a corner after his last fight of 2021, which saw him lean on his wrestling to control Devin Clark for three rounds. The end result has been Cutelaba running into the same problem via a different fashion. His last two fights against Ryan Spann and Johnny Walker have seen him pursue that wrestling, only to give up quick submissions. Cutelaba looks to end his 2022 campaign on a positive note here against Nzechukwu, who has had the complete opposite problem. Cutting an impressive frame at 6-foot-5, Nzechukwu got on the UFC radar at a ridiculously early point, as he was on Dana White’s Contender Series by his third professional fight. It would still be a bit until he eventually made his UFC debut against Paul Craig, but a lot of his performances were marked by a lack of aggression. Even though Nzechukwu found success in the UFC, it was either in slow fights where an opponent could not do much against his reach or in bouts that saw opponents wear themselves out beating on him until he turned things around. After two straight losses, the “African Savage” may have finally found a new gear against Karl Roberson in July. Nzechukwu immediately took the initiative and never let go, mixing in an impressive amount of wrestling until he pounded out a third-round stoppage. That is enough to give Nzechukwu the edge here. There should still be some rough early going against Cutelaba’s aggression, but Nzechukwu’s survival instincts are never in doubt, and he showed enough against Roberson to suggest he can actually take advantage whenever the Moldovan starts to go off the rails. The pick is Nzechukwu via third-round stoppage.

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Lewis vs. Spivak
Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba
Cortes-Acosta vs. Sherman
Fialho vs. Salikhov
Della Maddalena vs. Roberts
The Prelims

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