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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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