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UFC Vegas 25: Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby Fight Preview

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UFC Vegas 25 features a top-notch light heavyweight bout in addition to the main event. Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby is as close to a surefire barnburner as you’re going to see this weekend.

Jacoby is stepping in on less than two weeks’ notice, replacing the injured Devin Clark. “The Hanyak” is two months removed from his second consecutive victory as he welcomes “The Hulk”, who had a frustrating 2020 both in terms of results and fight cancellations.

Fighter Profiles

Ion Cutelaba (15-6-1NC, 4-5 UFC)

NORFOLK, VA – FEBRUARY 29: Ion Cutelaba stands in his corner prior to facing Magomed Ankalaev in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Cutelaba has had a rollercoaster of a UFC tenure since joining the promotion in 2016. He’s currently on a skid having lost three of his last four, but at 27 years old Cutelaba has a lot of impressive attributes. If he’s able to harness his aggression and begin refraining from loading up on every shot, he can beat prominent competition.

In nine UFC appearances, the Moldovan native has faced the likes of Magomed Ankalaev (x2), Glover Teixeira, and Jared Cannonier. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way against those elite opponents. Cutelaba’s fight-ending power keeps him dangerous at all times and on top of that, “The Hulk” is a practitioner of both Sambo and Judo. Picturing Cutelaba down at middleweight is a scary proposition (similar to Cannonier), but he seems content to remain in the light heavyweight waters.

Dustin Jacoby (14-5, 2-2 UFC)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 31: Dustin Jacoby celebrates after his TKO victory over Justin Ledet in a light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“The Hanyak” had a two-fight stint with the UFC roughly a decade ago. Impressively, he’s worked his way back following a Contender Series victory over Ty Flores last August. Since then, Jacoby has won back-to-back bouts including an opening-round finish in his debut. The 33-year-old is trending in the right direction ahead of UFC Vegas 25.

The 6’3″ light heavyweight seasoned his striking while competing 15 times for Glory Kickboxing. Jacoby also gained experience fighting for Bellator, Titan FC, as well as winning a boxing bout in 2019. Needless to say, the Factory X affiliate carries a plethora of experience with him each time he steps into the octagon.

Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby Breakdown

Both of these guys are looking to strike when they enter the cage, but they differ in their approaches to the art. For starters, Cutelaba stays on the balls of his feet as he enters and exits the pocket. The way he moves is somewhat similar to that of Darren Till, but “The Hulk” hardly throws his strikes down the centerline. Meanwhile, Jacoby stands more flatfooted as he fights behind his jab with a raised guard. “The Hanyak” likes to pick his shots while moving forward to land his straight right hand.

Neither man is a stranger to switching stances, but Cutelaba definitely frequents the southpaw position more often. The power advantage favors the Moldovan, but Jacoby may find himself landing first due to his straight-line attacks. Cutelaba’s recent outings should have made him realize that he must refrain from trying to land the knockout blow with every strike. If he hasn’t learned that, Jacoby will pick him apart from the outside, lead by his jab and leg kicks.

Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby is almost guaranteed to be decided entirely on the feet. The height and reach advantage favors the American, who is red-hot, having not tasted defeat since 2016. However, the biggest factor heading into this contest is the adjustments (or lack thereof) made via Cutelaba. Again, if he fights more calculated and composed he’ll become much more dangerous. Yet, looping attacks will be his downfall once again if he elects to take that route.

Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby Final Thoughts

Despite being booked last-minute, Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby is a fight that fans won’t want to miss. The likelihood of this matchup going the distance is minimal, especially considering “The Hulk” hasn’t left a fight to the judges in nearly five years. Their early exchanges will be telling because Jacoby will certainly respect his opponent’s power from the jump, but it’s yet to be seen whether or not the same can be said of Cutelaba. Regardless, viewers can expect a barnburner of a light heavyweight scrap when these two square off.

Who do you see having the edge in Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby at UFC Vegas 25? Leave your prediction in the comment section!


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Ryan Truland is an experienced MMA writer for Overtimeheroics.net. Ryan regularly conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date with the latest and greatest MMA content.