UFC Fight Night 89 Newcomer Breakdown: Ion Cutelaba

Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Moldovan Ion Cutelaba as he debuts in the light heavyweight division against Canadian Misha Cirkunov at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.   Ion Cutelaba Hometown: Chisinau, Moldova Age: 22 Height: 6’1” Reach: N/A Weight Class: Light Heavyweight Camp: Timoshkov Sports Club Career Record: 11-1 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background A national judo champion as a teenager, Cutelaba has been fighting professionally for four years. He’s fought most recently in the European promotion WWFC. All of his 11 victories have been inside the distance. Strengths

  • Aggressive striker with good hands
  • Decent athlete
  • Works well to get back to his feet when taken down


  • Low level of competition
  • Striking is brawling as opposed to technique driven
  • Takedown defense needs to improve



  Match-up against Misha Cirkunov A rare matchup between two prospects in the light heavyweight. Cutelaba is the heavier puncher and the more likely to finish on the feet as he’s done in the majority of his fights. On the flipside, the Canadian Misha Cirkunov is the longer fighter with the much better ground game. Cirkunov has certainly been hyped beyond his ability, but he has a clear path to victory in this one. Look for Cirkunov to take the fight to the ground and beat up his opponent there. With that said, Cirkunov will need to be careful in the standing exchanges as Cutelaba is a threat to finish. UFC Ceiling Ion Cutelaba is one of the youngest fighters in the UFC at just 22 years of age. He appears to have a solid standup skill set with decent power. In addition to that, in top control he has good control and delivers heavy ground and pound. He’s still quite raw in his development and hasn’t proven himself against UFC caliber opposition. His entry into the UFC is going to be trial by fire. I think he can potentially do well in the UFC, but he will need to develop in order to have some success. Fight Film Check out Ion Cutelaba in some of his most recent fights:   Ion Cutelaba vs. Izidor Bunea Ion Cutelaba vs. Malik Merad Ion Cutelaba vs. Vitalii Onishenco

Written by Jay Primetown

Leave a Reply

RFA 39’s Joseph Gigliotti “I think across the board my skillset is better”

Fights to Avoid Betting for UFC Fight Night 89