Virginia Commission Denies Ion Cutelaba’s Appeal of Loss to Magomed Ankalaev

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 21, 2020

Ion Cutelaba’s appeal of his controversial technical knockout loss to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Fight Night 169 has been denied by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

ESPN was first to report the news. UFC Fight Night 169 took place at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia, on Feb. 29. The light heavyweight bout between Ankalaev and Cutelaba was one of the evening’s main card fights.

“After [two] months of waiting and a rematch that got canceled this is not the answer I was hoping for,” Cutelaba wrote on Instagram. “Getting robbed again was not what I was looking for. There was no justice made here, this is only an extension of the same error. What's the point of a commission to review a case for [two] months just to ignore the truth.”

After being stunned by a left hook from Ankalaev during an initial exchange, Cutelaba wobbled around the Octagon as his opponent continued to attack with punches and kicks. During that sequence, the Moldovan was able to fire back with punches of his own, but referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in to halt the contest 38 seconds into the first round.

Cutelaba protested the stoppage in the immediate aftermath, claiming that he feigned the wobbling as part of his game plan. “The Hulk” later referred to MacDonald’s ruling as “one of the worst calls in UFC history” on social media while announcing his plans to appeal the verdict.

Cutelaba also shared a statement from Virginia commission director Mary Broz-Vaughan on his Instagram post.

“The is no evidence to substantiate a claim that referee MacDonald made his in-the-moment decisions based on any factor other than his best judgment to avoid injury to the participants,” Broz-Vaughan wrote. “I find the account given by the referee, who has the authority and responsibility to stop a contest when he believes a participant is injured, to be credible. Whether video or replay or popular opinion or hindsight makes one second guess a decision later is not at issue.

“I do not find evidence of any regulatory violation. Accordingly, the TKO decision remains.”

Cutelaba and Ankalaev were slated to rematch at UFC 249 on April 18, but that event was ultimately canceled due to concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Cutelaba has lost two of his last three promotional appearances.

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