Cutelaba (16-6-1 MMA, 5-5-1 UFC) used both striking and grappling to overwhelm Clark (12-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC) and get a unanimous decision by scores of 30-26, 29-26 and 29-27 in the light heavyweight contest, which took place on Saturday’s card from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Cutelaba nearly put Clark away in the first round. He landed a hard grazing shot that set up a knockdown, then spent more than two minutes trying to finish it. Referee Keith Peterson gave Clark a whole lot of leash, and the fighter moved just enough to avoid having it waved off.
Clark attempted to collect himself in the second frame, but Cutelaba still smelled blood and was throwing heat. To Clark’s credit, he tried to make some offense happen. However, the damage had already been done and when Cutelaba took him down, he moved directly into mount and chipped away with shots. Clark got back to his feet and tried to make something happen, but Cutelaba remained sharp.
Going into the third round, Clark had a teeth issue and asked his team if he should continue fighting. He ended up doing so, and he performed admirably. Cutelaba found his way into mount multiple times over the final five minutes, but couldn’t put Clark away. Clark got a big takedown late in the fight and had a nice flurry, but he was unable to do anything with it to change the trajectory of the contest, despite getting the round from two of three judges.
Check out some highlights of Cutelaba’s dominant win below (via Twitter):
After going winless in his past three octagon appearances, Cutelaba badly needed to get his hand raised against Clark. He did just that, and can now claim to be a winner for the first time since September 2019. Clark has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.
“‘The Hulk’ is back,” Cutelaba said in his post-fight interview. “I’m staying here. I’m staying here this night. Thank you so much, Devin Clark. Good fight. I respect you. The next fight is fighting the top (of the division).”