Fighter Spotlight: Nassourdine Imavov

Fighter Spotlight: Nassourdine Imavov

Douglas Vegas Bets|
June 07, 2024|

Name: Nassourdine Imavov

Record: 13-4

Date of Birth: March 1st, 1996

Weight: 185 Ib (84kg)

Height: 6'3" (191 cm)

Reach: 75.0" (191 cm)

Nationality: Russian

Fighting out of: Salon-de-Provence, France

Next Fight: Jared Cannonier

Nassourdine Imavov is a rising Middleweight contender who has made himself a familiar name for fans, having headlined three events in his young career. Now, at age twenty-eight, he will look to use his unique skillset to push closer to his goal of the UFC title.

Early Career

Imavov's professional debut in 2016 was a learning experience, resulting in a first-round submission loss, which remains his only career stoppage loss. He fought very often to start, having six fights in 2016-17 before taking a year away in 2018 before what would end up being the biggest of his career. He returned to the cage in 2019, fighting frequently and winning all four fights, three of which were first-round finishes. These impressive performances paved the way for his entry into the UFC.

Credits to: Zac Pacleb/Zuffa LLC
Credits to: Zac Pacleb/Zuffa LLC

UFC Career

It was clear from the start that the MMA Factory product Imavov had the physical traits to succeed in the UFC with a similar style to that of a gym mate and fellow rising contender, Heavyweight Ciryl Gane. He is a very large Middleweight with phenomenal movement, which helped him win a unanimous decision over Jordan Williams in his debut. However, Phil Hawes showed some holes in his game in his second fight. Despite having tremendous success striking, he was outwrestled, which cost him a majority decision. It was after this fight that Imavov began to show his evolution and become a real threat to the division, dominating his next two opponents, earning knockout wins over Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan, having used the ground game as a weapon of his own against Shabazyan.

UFC Paris

With the UFC set to hold an event in Paris for the first time in September 2022, it was an obvious choice to showcase Imavov on the card, with him representing France and training there. He would take on the always dangerous Joaquin Buckley, who had won five of his last six fights entering the contest. It was clear early in the contest that Imavov was the superior striker, landing hard shots from range in the first two rounds. The third round saw Buckley push the pace and steal the round, although it was not enough, with Imavov having done enough work early to claim the unanimous decision win.

Credits to: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Credits to: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

First Main Event

Imavov was then set for his first Main Event spotlight against former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum in a big step up in competition. Gastelum would pull out just weeks before the fight, leaving Sean Strickland to step in on short notice and take the main event. The pressure of Strickland proved too much for Imavov, as he would go on to win a high-paced striking match between the two and set the seed for a rivalry that has yet to come to a close.

Xtreme Couture Rematch

Imavov's next booking would come against a close friend and training partner of Strickland, Chris Curtis. The fight was a great showing for Imavov, as through two rounds, he displayed better striking and mixed-in grappling to put himself clearly ahead before an accidental clash of heads would end the contest in a disappointing fashion. However, this was not the end of the rivalry with Curtis, as Curtis would corner Imavov's next opponent, Roman Dolidze. Imavov was en route to a dominant win when a stoppage in the action resulted in a verbal altercation between Imavov and Curtis from the corner, which ended with Herb Dean threatening to disqualify Imavov. Action resumed, and Imavov would pick up the biggest win of his career with a majority decision over Dolidze.

Credits to: Sergei Belski, USA TODAY Sports
Credits to: Sergei Belski, USA TODAY Sports

Current Status

Imavov now heads into his third main event in his last four fights, with this being his biggest test yet against former title challenger Jared Cannonier, who holds a win over Sean Strickland and enters this fight off a record-breaking performance in terms of strikes landed against Marvin Vettori. A win here will enter Imavov into the title discussion and prove to fans that he is ready to be talked about among the world's best Middleweights.

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