At UFC Vegas 37, Ion Cutelaba collides with Devin Clark in a co-main event bout which promises fireworks. With 15 knockouts held between the pair, who will deliver that fight-ending haymaker?
Cutelaba holds a professional record of 15-6-1, with 12 of those wins coming via knockout. The Moldovan bulldozer has cemented wins over such competitors as Henrique Da Silva, Gadzhimurad Antigulov, and most recently Khalil Rountree Jr.
However, since his first-round KO win over Rountree Jr in September 2019, Cutelaba has hit a bump in the road and finds himself winless in his last three octagon appearances.
His first loss to Magomed Ankalaev was tabbed by BT Sport as ‘the most controversial fight of the year’. Ankalaev caught Cutelaba with a brief flurry of strikes which seemingly rocked his opponent. After multiple head kicks, Cutelaba looked to be out on his feet which forced referee Kevin McDonald to call a stop to the contest in the very first round.
However, Cutelaba protested the stoppage and claimed that he was ‘baiting’ Ankalaev to over-commit and catch him with a counter. After months of protesting, Cutelaba was granted the rematch. However, in the first round, Ankalaev caught him with a haymaker counter right hand which was followed by a barrage of ground and pound which had Cutelaba out cold on the octagon canvas.
In May of 2021, Cutelaba was scheduled to face Devin Clark. However, Clark pulled out of the bout and was replaced by Dustin Jacoby. After dominating the first round, Jacoby came back in the second and third to claim a split decision draw.
In 2015, Dana White, Matt Serra, and Robbie Lawler were scouting the USA for the next top talent for Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight. The trio decided to attend Resurrection Fighting Alliance 39 which took place in Devin Clark’s hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Clark faced Rafael Viana for the light heavyweight championship. In the second round, Viana suffered a broken hand which forced the contest to be called to a halt. As a result, Clark improved to a professional record of 6-0 and was signed to the UFC roster.
Since his UFC debut in 2016, Clark has been a busy man by making 11 UFC appearances. The American is 6-5 under the UFC banner.
In 2020, Clark fought in the octagon three times. He won his first two via unanimous decision against Dequan Townsend and Alonzo Menifield. However, his successful 2020 came to a grinding halt as he lost to Anthony Smith via a triangle choke submission in the very first round.
When the two titans are locked in the octagon on Saturday night, expect to see Cutelaba close the distance early and look for the knockout.
Meanwhile, Clark will likely look to clinch with Cutelaba to ultimately score a very important takedown. However, ‘The Hulks’ wrestling should be enough to snub the takedown.
Cutelabas’s route to victory will be with his hands. With 12 out of his 15 wins coming via KO, it’s safe to say that the 27-year-old hits like a truck.
Clark’s route to victory would be to weather the early Cutelaba storm, allow his gas tank to run out of petrol, and then take over the fight in the later stages.
However, I believe Cutelaba will connect with a haymaker in the early stages of the bout and leave the octagon with an opening-round KO.