Before we begin with the main article, these two items also pertain to the UFC:
The promotion announced earlier this week that the main event for last Saturday’s UFC Fight Night between Joseph Benavidez and Deivison Figuereido will be rebooked for a future UFC event.
The UFC Flyweight championship remains vacant after Figuereido won the fight by second-round technical knockout last weekend, but he was unable to claim the title due to missing the 125-lb. maximum at last Friday’s weigh-in.
Secondly, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday that Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who most recently competed in the UFC as a Lightweight, will join that weight class in the Professional Fighters League for its 2020 season.
Onward to the article proper:
Flashback to Saturday, Feb. 29, when UFC on ESPN+ 27 featured a Light Heavyweight fight between Magomed Anakalev and Ion Cutelaba.
The introductions themselves had plenty of fireworks, as both men got into a brawl as Bruce Buffer announced them.
In order to quell any potential chaos, security quickly broke up the fracas.
As far as the actual fight was concerned, referee Kevin McDonald waved off the contest inside the opening minute of the first round, ruling it a TKO for Cutelaba despite Anakalev never formally going out.
In the aftermath of the TKO, the assembled crowd inside Chartway Arena in Norfolk, VA loudly protested and disagreed with the result.
Earlier Thursday, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that the fight would be rebooked for the Apr. 19 UFC 249 show in Brooklyn inside Barclays Center.’
Breaking: Per sources, UFC rebooking last week’s controversial bout between Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev to UFC 249 in April in Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/UUGqAf65rY
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 5, 2020
Earlier this week, when this Website ran an opinion piece regarding the initial aftermath of the Feb. 29 controversy, I wrote the following:
“Simply, Kevin McDonald stopped the fight too early.
The UFC needs to do the right thing here and book a rematch between these two fighters as soon as possible.”
A rematch between these two was the right thing for the UFC to do, as well as the only thing that the UFC could do, to make everything right.
Just as the UFC did last fall with the Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens no-contest after an eye poke, Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Anakalev will get a rematch of their own in a month and a half.
I personally give the UFC plaudit here, especially given the recent rash of controversial decisions in fights within the promotion in recent weeks.
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