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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is not even into its first event of 2019, and it has already lost multiple major fights from its debut on an ESPN network, now losing Ion Cutelaba against Glover Teixeira due to injury.
Both John Lineker and Ion Cutelaba are out of their respective fights next weekend versus Cory Sandhagen and Glover Teixeira in Brooklyn, sources say. UFC looking for replacements but obviously time is of the essence with the card nine days away.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 10, 2019
According to a report by ESPN on Thursday night, light heavyweight Cutelaba has been forced to withdraw from his bout at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Jan. 19 due to an undisclosed injury. The promotion is actively seeking replacements for Cutelaba as well as for John Lineker, who also withdrew from his bout at this event on Thursday.
Cutelaba returned in 2018 to knock out Gadzhimurad Antigulov at UFC on Fox 30 following a six-month suspension in 2017 for receiving a blood transfusion from ozone therapy. "The Hulk" had never been defeated in his 13-fight career prior to signing with the UFC in 2016, with his lone blemish by disqualification for striking his opponent in the back of the head. Throughout his 14 career victories, he has finished his foes in 13 of them, including 10 first-round knockouts.
Brazilian knockout artist Teixeira has alternated wins and losses in his last six bouts dating back to 2016, most recently dropping a decision to Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 134. The former UFC light heavyweight title challenger notably made Ovince St. Preux the third fighter and first light heavyweight in UFC history to win and lose by technical submission, when he put St. Preux to sleep with a rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 73.
UFC on ESPN+ 1, also known as UFC Fight Night 143, is headlined by a flyweight title fight between flyweight champ Henry Cejudo and bantamweight kingpin T.J. Dillashaw on January 19, 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Co-headlining the inaugural ESPN+ event will be a heavyweight slugfest between Greg Hardy and Allen Crowder.