Kennedy Nzechukwu suffered a tough first round against Ion Cutelaba, but then reversed his fortunes early in the second round after landing a perfectly timed knee to the head as his opponent was swooping for a takedown, and then connected with another knee and big punches soon after to put him down and secure a TKO finish.
On short notice this fight has now become the main event after original headliner Derrick Lewis was taken to hospital.
Right hand from Nzechukwu. Solid inside leg kick from Cutelaba. Cutelaba with a big right hand that seems to trouble Nzechukwu and then another solid punch. However, Cutelaba then opts to clinch up and goes for a takedown.
Cutelaba almost gets him down, but Nzechukwu rights himself and continues to defend the takedown attempt.
Cutelaba still determined to get this fight to the mat though and after a bit of a struggle he does not only land a takedown but also end up in mount.
Cutelaba trying to solidify his position on top, but Nzechukwu manages to get him back to half-guard and then into his full guard.
Nzechukwu able to get back up to his feet, but Cutelaba clinches him up against the cage. Nzechukwu reverses position, but then Cutelaba lands a head and arm throw. Cutelaba trying to trap an arm between the legs and land punches, but Nzechukwu manages to escape and drives back upright and pushes Cutelaba into the cage.
Cutelaba working for a kimura as Nzechukwu is bodylocked to his back in the final moments of the round.
Punch for Nzechukwu. Cutelaba with a leg kick. Right hook for Cutelaba. Both fighters swing for the fences with hooks.
Cutelaba ducks down for a takedown and Nzechukwu lands a big knee strike to the head. Somehow Cutelaba survives that and at close range soon after Cutelaba lands a knee that strays to the groin and forces a stoppage.
Nzechukwu recognizes that he has Cutelaba hurt though and so he opts to just continue rather than taking time to recover.
That quickly proves to be a wise decision as he is right back on the offensive and rocks Cutelaba with another knee upstairs, then big punches to follow that drop him.
Cutelaba covering up and trying to scramble away as ground-and-pound blows rain down on him and that’s it, Nzechukwu wins by TKO at 1.02mins of Rd2.