The UFC has finalized a big time matchup between light heavyweight prospects. MMA Island was the first to report earlier this week that the promotion had finalized a light heavyweight battle between “Super” Ryan Spann (19-7) and Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1).
The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on February 26th. For Cutelaba, he’s going to be looking for his second straight win. The last time we saw Cutelaba was back in September when he took on Devin Clark at a UFC Fight Night.
Cutelaba was able to show how well-rounded he was in that performance doing well both in the standup and his grappling. That was a big win for Cutelaba who had been going through a bit of a rough stretch. Prior to that win, Cutelaba was 1-3-1 in his previous five fights.
Granted, the losses came to top competition like the UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira. Now, Cutelaba gets his chance against another top prospect in Ryan Spann. If Cutelaba gets the win in February, I would expect a number by his name come March.
UFC bounce back opportunity for Spann
The UFC audience was first introduced to Ryan Spann on Dana White’s Contender Series. However, it didn’t start well for Spann. Spann was knocked out in seconds during his first appearance on the show. That loss lit a fire underneath Spann who went on to win eight straight fights.
That winning streak earned him a shot against Johnny Walker. Walker was able to halt the winning streak by stopping Spann in the first round. Spann bounced back in a big way when he knocked out Misha Cirkunov in the first round.
That knockout win earned him a shot against former UFC title challenger Anthony Smith. Many were picking Spann, however, Smith showed him that he wasn’t quite ready for that moment and stopped him in the first round.
Now, Spann will look to regroup against the tough Cutelaba. Spann is fighting for his ranking in this matchup and if he’s able to win, it’ll likely be another ranked opponent for him next.