Controversy found its way into the Octagon at UFC Fight Night Norfolk when Magomed Ankalaev scored a first round TKO win over Ion Cutelaba due to what many claimed was an early ref stoppage.
A defeated Cutelaba says that Kevin MacDonald, who officiated the fight, shouldn’t have been allowed to be in the Octagon for his bout.
”When it’s two fighters on this level and they came here to fight and show the world a good fight, it doesn’t matter, one round, three rounds, 40 seconds – let them fight,” Cutelaba said after the event (via Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting). “That referee, he doesn’t know how to do that. They have to (have) another referee to control this kind of fight.”
Cutelaba does have the ability to file an appeal for the loss, but that hasn’t been done by the fighter at this time.
The fighter also claims that the game plan for the fight was to play possum, but the ref’s stoppage of the bout didn’t allow that plan to come to fruition.
”I came all the way from Moldova, 14 or 15, to show the world I am the best, and the referee didn’t leave me to fight,” he said. “Every (strike) that my opponent did, I controlled it. When the referee stopped the fight, I was countering. This was a part of the game plan, and the referee thought I fell. But that was part of the game plan. When they stopped it, I was fighting him.”
Ankalaev said he is open to a rematch against Cutelaba, who has now won just one of his last three under the UFC banner.