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UFC News: Ion Cutelaba and John Lineker out of UFC on ESPN +1; Suspected injury facing the pair

Prathik J.
231   //    11 Jan 2019, 12:02 IST

Who will replace 'The Hulk,' come January 19th?
Who will replace 'The Hulk,' come January 19th?

What's the story?

UFC on ESPN +1, scheduled for January 19th, 2019, in Brooklyn, New York, has, unfortunately, faced its first roadblock. Preliminary and main card contenders, John Lineker, and Ion Cutelaba have unexpectedly pulled out of their respective bouts, due to an undisclosed injury. The UFC will be looking for replacements from the roster, for both fighters, a mere nine days before the event.

In case you didn't know..

John Lineker is a Brazilian mixed martial artist, currently competing in the UFC's bantamweight division. He has been professionally engaged in the sport of mixed martial arts since 2008 and is presently ranked number five in the UFC's official bantamweight rankings.

Lineker made his debut with the UFC against Louis Gaudinot, in a losing cause, on the preliminary card for UFC on FOX 3. He is currently on a two-fight win streak with victories over and against the likes of Marlon Vera and Brian Kelleher.

Ion Cutelaba is a Moldovan professional mixed martial artist and has been one of the latest prospects to be included in the UFC's light heavyweight division. He has been an ardent practitioner of Greco-Roman wrestling and is a national champion in both the Sambo and Judo disciplines.

His debut came at UFC Fight Night 89, a fight that he lost to Misha Cirkunov on the preliminary card of the event. With wins coming against Henrique da Silva and Gadzhimurad Antigulov, Cutelaba is presently on a two-fight streak with the promotion.

The heart of the matter

In regards to a recent Twitter post by ESPN's Ariel Helwani, John Lineker and Ion Cutelaba have been forced to retreat from their respective matchups on the UFC on ESPN +1 card. Although undisclosed, the pair is suspected to have suffered from freak injuries, leading up to their fights in Brooklyn, slated for January 19th, 2019. Helwani's Tweet read:

“Both John Lineker and Ion Cutelaba are out of their respective fights next weekend versus Cory Sandhagen and Glover Teixeira in Brooklyn, sources say. UFC looking for replacements but obviously, time is of the essence with the card nine days away.”

What's next?

The UFC will be currently scouting replacements for both Ion Cutelaba and John Lineker, ahead of the UFC on ESPN +1 event in Brooklyn, New York. The main fight card will feature a flyweight championship bout between Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw, alongside a heavily criticized heavyweight clash between UFC debutant, Greg Hardy, and Allen Crowder.

Any early predictions for this stacked fight card? Be sure to leave them in the comments section below!