UFC Vegas 67 Fight Breakdown: Sean Strickland vs. Nassourdine Imavov


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 67, a five-round middleweight bout between Nassourdine Imavov and Sean Strickland The event takes place on Saturday, January 14 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nassourdine Imavov (-120)

Imavov (12-3) is the No. 12 ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 27-year-old French fighter joined the UFC in 2020 and since then he is 4-1 in the Octagon with notable wins over Joaquin Buckley, Edmen Shahbazyan, and Ian Heinisch. Imavov is a very well-rounded fighter who can grapple on the ground and also strike on the feet. He has shown solid skills in all facets of the game so far in his UFC career, and he keeps improving. He is a dark horse in the UFC middleweight division. That being said, this fight against Strickland is certainly a step up in competition. The fact Imavov has had a full training camp is a benefit to him, but it doesn’t automatically mean that he will win this fight.

Sean Strickland (+100)

Strickland (25-5) is the No. 7 ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 31-year-old American joined the UFC back in 2014 and he has a 12-5 overall record in the UFC, including a 5-2 record since moving up to middleweight. Although Strickland lost his last two fights, one was a loss to the champ, Alex Pereira, and the other was a really close split decision loss to Jared Cannonier, a top contender. I don’t think you can take away too much negatively from those defeats, and before that, Strickland was looking great. Fighting on short notice in general is not positive but given that Strickland just fought last month against Cannonier, I don’t feel like he’ll be too out of shape for this matchup.

Fight Breakdown: This should be a good fight between two of the top 15-ranked middleweights in the UFC. It is unfortunate that Gastelum got injured and was forced to pull out of this fight, but Strickland has to be commended for stepping up on short notice. I also feel like this could be a good stylistic matchup for Strickland, who has shown good takedown defense in his UFC career in addition to sharp striking skills. Strickland is a big middleweight which negates a lot of the advantages that Imavov would have held over Gastelum. In this fight, I expect Strickland to stay on the outside and use his jab to pick apart Imavov and win a decision. Go with Strickland for the win.

Prediction: Sean Strickland wins by decision

Written by Adam Martin.


Opening Odds for UFC Vegas 67: Strickland vs. Imavov

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