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Ion Cutelaba removed from UFC 217 due to potential USADA violation

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UFC light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba has been pulled from Saturday night’s matchup against Michal Oleksiejczuk.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Auckland Cutelaba vs da Silva Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought that UFC 217 would escape the dreaded last-minute fight cancellation, then think again.

Light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba, who was scheduled to fight Michal Oleksiejczuk on Saturday night, was flagged for a potential USADA violation on the eve of the big Madison Square Garden pay-per-view card. It is not yet known what banned substance Cutelaba was in is system, but Ion made “voluntary disclosures” during random drug tests from two weeks ago.

The UFC announced the news on Friday:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Ion Cutelaba of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from its investigation into voluntary disclosures by Cutelaba during an out-of-competition sample collections on October 18 and October 19, 2017. USADA has provisionally suspended Cutelaba and his fight against Michal Oleksiejczuk has been cancelled from the November 4, 2017, UFC 217 fight card.

Cutelaba (13-1, 1 NC) is coming off a 22-second thrashing of Henrique da Silva at UFC Auckland in June, and had made weight on Friday morning before news of his USADA violation was made public. He is also known for painting himself green and pretending to be The Hulk. The 23-year-old Moldovan has a 2-2 record inside the Octagon, but now he’s facing a possible USADA suspension.

Oleksiejczuk has also been removed from the event, so UFC 217 has been reduced to eleven fights.