MMA Fighter of the Week: Magomed Ankalaev

MMA Fighter of the Week: Magomed Ankalaev

By Dan McConnell

This past weekend’s UFC 254 card in Fight Island had it all for UK fight fans.

An early fight night that featured 5 KO/TKO’s, 3 submissions and a retirement by one of the greatest athletes to step inside the UFC’s octagon.

The first fight on the main card seemed like the perfect place to finally settle the score between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba.

Both men met in an unfortunate end last time out in February, with criticism surrounding the referee’s decision to stop the fight.

Cutelaba was playing possum to entice Ankalaev to come rushing in. However, the referee was so convinced by Cutelaba’s tactics that he thought he was out.

The UFC tried to book the rematch on several occasions with no success. Complications due to COVID-19 prevented the bout from coming to fruition.

However, it was a completely different story second time around. The Russian Ankalaev finally put his opponent Cutelaba in the rear view with a first round TKO finish.

He executed his game-plan well by landing a left counter, followed by a lethal right to drop Cutelaba on the canvas.

Ankalaev quickly pounced on-top of his opponent nicknamed The Hulk’ and landed several strikes to leave Cutelaba unconscious.

This win earned him a performance of the night bonus, along side his fellow Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.

At 28, Ankalaev has now recorded five straight victories inside in the UFC light-heavyweight division to take his record to 14-1.

With Khabib announcing his retirement later in the night, it’s time for the latest Dagestani fighter to make his mark within the UFC.

Photo Credit: Zuffa/UFC

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