When No. 7 ranked heavyweight Derrick Lewis was forced out of UFC Vegas 65 hours before he was supposed to face No. 12 ranked Sergey Spivak, light heavyweights Kennedy Nzechukwu and Ion Cuțelaba were moved to the fight card’s main event slot.
Cutelaba entered the match hoping to stop a two-fight losing streak while Kennedy Nzechukwu looked to expand on a win in his last outing. With the opportunity to headline, Nzechukwu took full advantage.
Nzechukwu landed his jab early but Cutelaba connected with a counter right hand that wobbled the Nigerian. Cutelaba clinched and eventually tripped Nzechukwu to the canvas. As soon as they hit the ground, Cutelaba advanced to the mount position. Nzechukwu worked his way back to his guard and stood.
Cutelaba kept the pressure on and maintained the clinch. He tossed Nzechukwu to the ground and moved to side control. Nzechukwu escaped the position and got back to his feet. The round ended with Cutelaba delivering foot stomps as he worked to secure a standing kimura.
They let their hands go in the second round. Nzechukwu picked up the pace. He landed a knee as Cutelaba changed levels. After absorbing a low blow, Nzechukwu landed another knee that badly hurt Cutelaba. He finished with a series of punches as Cutelaba crumbled to the canvas. The end came at 1:02 of the second round.
“I love this company. They gave me an opportunity when I wasn’t ready, and I’m slowing growing up in the cage,” Nzechukwu said following the win.
Nzechukwu has 14 career matches. Nine of them have been inside the octagon.