Ion Cutelaba Suspended by USADA
USADA has officially suspended light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba (13-3, 1 NC) six months after he voluntarily declared the use of an alternative therepeutic treatment that is prohibited by USADA. During an out-of-competition test this past October, Cutelaba wrote on his paperwork that he was using ozone therapy and his doctor provided the documentation showing he had undergone two procedures. The problem was it involved a blood transfusion, which is against USADA’s rules, and USADA was forced to suspend him. The good news for Cutelaba is the six months is almost over and that means he’ll be able to return to the Octagon sometime soon to fight after he lost the chance to compete at UFC 217 due to this USADA violation. In his last outing in the Octagon, he knocked out Henrique da Silva in just 22 seconds, and overall he is 2-2 in the UFC. When he comes back, expect the UFC to give him a ranked opponent at 205lbs, as he’s one of the few younger fighters in the division with some untapped potential.
Pennington vs. Nunes Official For UFC 224
The UFC made it official, as UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (15-4) will look to defend her belt against Raquel Pennington (9-5) at UFC 224, which takes place May 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This bout has been rumored for a while now but the UFC only just made it official, just days after UFC president Dana White said Nunes would likely be fighting Cris “Cyborg” Justino instead. Clearly, that’s not the plan, at least not just yet. Nunes is coming off of six-straight wins while Pennington got her shot at the belt with four-straight wins. Though Pennington is more deserving than the other bantamweights of a title shot, it’s still very disappointing Cyborg isn’t going to fight Nunes. As far as the odds go, look for Nunes to be a sizeable favorite to keep her belt.
Alex Reyes Out of UFC London, UFC Looking For Opponent For Nasrat Haqparast
Unfortunately there’s an injury to next weekend’s UFC London card. Alex Reyes (13-3) is out of his lightweight bout against Nasrat Haqparast (8-2) and will not be able to make his UFC lightweight debut just yet. Aftrer racking up 13-straight wins on the regional circuit, the UFC signed Reyes on extremely short notice and he moved up to welterweight and was knocked out in brutal fashion by Mike Perry. He’ll have to wait a little while longer to right those wrongs. Now the UFC needs to find an opponent for Haqparast, and a number of lightweights have already come out on Twitter and called him out for the fight next weekend, including Damien Brown. We’ll see what the UFC does as far as an opponent goes, but hopefully Haqparast gets a fight.