Bad blood at the weigh-ins led to Ion Cutelaba and Dustin Jacoby slugging it out for 15 minutes at UFC Vegas 25 but the fight ultimately ended in a split draw.
A dominant opening round from Cutelaba was the most definitive moment in the fight but Jacoby was able to weather the storm and mount a comeback in the second and third. When it was over, the judges scored the fight 29-28 for Cutelaba, 29-28 for Jacoby and the third judge scoring the fight 28-28 for the split draw.
With intensity exuding from Cutelaba even before the fight started, Jacoby was smart to stay technical and measured with his strikes as he slammed home a couple of nasty leg kicks while also throwing long, straight punches to use his reach advantage.
In return, Cutelaba just bull rushed ahead to close the distance, grabbing onto the body lock and then bringing Jacoby down to the canvas. As Jacoby tried desperately to get to his feet, Cutelaba made him pay with a brutal series of punches and elbows to the side of the head that were landing at will.
The output from Cutelaba helped him score points but it also slowed him down as he attempted the same kind of takedowns in the second round except this time Jacoby was able to shrug him off. While Jacoby was far more active with the ability to stay on his feet, Cutelaba was still firing back with hard punches in return.
As time passed, Jacoby was tagging Cutelaba with strong, straight punches that saw some small cuts and bleeding start to accumulate on his face.
The slugfest continued into the third round with Jacoby staying tight with his combinations and Cutelaba throwing heavy leather, especially behind a clubbing left hand as he went head hunting for the knockout.
Considering the back-and-forth nature of the second and third rounds, it was a tough fight to score, which was reflected by the judges in the result. As a result, Cutelaba and Jacoby will both go home with a draw added to their respective resumes.