Ankalaev and Cutelaba had to run it back after a bizarre first meeting at UFC Norfolk that saw Anklaev win by TKO in just 38 seconds after Cutelaba seemingly feigned being dazed, which resulted in the referee calling for a stoppage. That call was immediately protested by Cutelaba and shortly after the fight a rematch was announced for UFC 254.
Given a second chance, Cutelaba did not waste time going after Ankalaev, and he pushed the pace from the opening bell. However, Ankalaev remained patient, and after finding the range he began to sting Cutelaba with counters before connecting with a 1-2 punch combination that dropped Cutelaba. Ankalaev then rendered him unconscious with follow-up ground-and-pound blows.
This Saturday, Ankalaev — currently No. 7 in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — takes a seven-fight win streak into the UFC Vegas 50 light heavyweight main event where he takes on one-time UFC title challenger Thiago Santos.