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Home » Predictions for Sean Strickland vs. Nassurdin Imavov UFC Fight Night Matchup and Odds

Predictions for Sean Strickland vs. Nassurdin Imavov UFC Fight Night Matchup and Odds

15 January 2023, Sunday
UFC was able to come up with a successful solution for their main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday. Initially, Sean Strickland had no fight set up and Nassourdine Imavov was intending to make a weight cut to 185 lbs. However, the two ranked middleweights will now be headlining the event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, an upgrade from the initial plan.

Kelvin Gastelum and Umar Imavov were originally due to headline UFC's initial card of 2023. Alas, Gastelum was forced off the card due to a mouth injury this past Tuesday. Sean Strickland then stepped in on four days' notification, having previously headlined the last UFC event of 2022 only a month before. The matchup changed from 185 pounds to 205 pounds, likely to facilitate an easier weight cut for Strickland under such limiting conditions.

Ismail Imavov is quietly establishing himself as France's next great hope for a world title alongside his teammate, heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane. Imavov's impressive 5-1 run in UFC - marred only by a majority loss - has seen him victorious over Joaquin Buckley, Edmen Shahbazyan and Ian Heinisch, which has evidenced his potential. Regardless of the light heavyweight bout on the horizon, a triumph over Strickland will position Imavov to take on the middleweight opponents he has been determined to face.

Imavov said he is willing to main event another UFC event in Paris and is eyeing an opponent in the top five of the division. He mentioned Marvin Vettori or Paulo Costa as potential opponents.

"My fortitude lies in my footwork. I'm adept at maneuvering and keeping my distance, and this is something I pride myself on."

Imavov is well aware of Strickland's fame for his pre-fight and in-ring verbal sparring. Despite this, Imavov aims to keep his focus no matter what is said to him.

"He can only do so much other than Gastelum," Imavov said at media day. "Yeah, the big mouth, I just have to be vigilant of what he says and the language he uses. I heard he's already been talking to the media, so let's get this started."

After a streak of six straight wins, UFC fighter Uriah Strickland (25-5) has experienced a setback, losing two fights consecutively for the first time in his 30-fight career. The two losses, a KO to Alex Pereira in a title eliminator and a tight split decision to Cannonier on Dec. 17, have left Strickland in need of repairs. Fortunately, the call from UFC vice president of talent relations Mick Maynard was enough incentive for Strickland to make a quick turnaround and fight again so soon.

Strickland revealed to reporters at Wednesday's media day that he had been planning a snowboarding trip when Mick called him. Strickland said he immediately thought to himself, "Mick is going to ask me to do something I don't want to do." Sure enough, Mick asked Strickland if he wanted "this fight", to which Strickland responded, "God damn it, Mick. I haven't done anything for a month. I've been sitting on my ass."

"Then his suave Australian gentleman said, 'We'll pay you a reasonable amount of money,' and I said, 'Well, I'm your man. Let's go take on this challenge.'

Dan Ige and Damon Jackson are set to face off in a pivotal featherweight matchup at the upcoming card. For Ige, the contest marks an opportunity to break out of a three-fight losing streak - all of which were decided by decision. On the opposite side of the cage, Jackson looks to use his renowned submission tactics to move up the rankings. Adding to the card's entertainment is a middleweight encounter between power puncher Punahele Soriano and Roman Kopylov.
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