Ion Cutelaba lived up to his reputation as a devastating finisher after making quick work of Tanner Boser in the first round at UFC Kansas City.
Bouncing back from a three-fight losing streak, Cutelaba blasted Boser with a huge right hand that rocked the Canadian after trading heavy blows on the feet. Cutelaba followed with a takedown, and as Boser attempted to get back to his feet, the Moldovan unloaded with a barrage of punches in succession that forced the referee to stop the fight.
The end came at 2:05 in the opening round.
HULK SMASH #UFCKansasCity pic.twitter.com/io3sTjOhmH— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 16, 2023
“I’m very happy for this win,” Cutela said. “This victory is very sweet! I am brutal. I am very brutal. All my punches are extremely dangerous. I knew everything he was going to throw at me.
“This wasn’t just a regular fight for me. This was a fight I had everything riding on. ‘Hulk’ is back!”
Cutelaba is best known as a go-big-or-go-home kind of fighter, and he threw everything with bad intentions against Boser, who was making his first appearance at light heavyweight in the UFC.
While Boser looked strong in the early exchanges, he was understandably wary of the huge, looping punches coming from Cutelaba. Unfortunately, Boser was only able to defend so long, as Cutelaba eventually cracked him with the right hand that precipitated the end of the fight.
Once Cutelaba had Boser trapped on the cage, he started launching punches in succession, with each one landing flush to the face. As much as Boser was working his way back to the feet, he was also absorbing a lot of punishment, with Cutelaba just teeing off until the referee stopped the fight.
It was a much needed knockout for Cutelaba, who gets his first win since 2021, while Boser falls to 1-4 in his past five fights.