‘God-given’ heavyweight champion Ngannou’s former sparring opponent, Nasurdin Imabov, aims to break into the UFC’s top 10.
Imabov will face Sean Strickland on the main card of the UFC Fight Night held at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on the 15th (Korean time).
Originally, the main event of this tournament was ‘Imabov vs. Gastelum’. However, during Fight Week, Gastelum suffered a tooth injury during sparring and had it stitched up, making him unable to fight. As a result, Strickland received a short-term offer and clashed with Imabov.
Considering the lack of preparation period, the match will be held in the light heavyweight (93kg) rather than the middleweight (83.9kg), the original weight of the two players.
Imavov is a French fighter born in Dagestan, Russia. He was teammate of UFC heavyweight No. 2 Cyril Gan and former sparring partner of heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. He entered the rankings as a Muay Thai fighter with a strong counter, winning three straight victories at middleweight. Beating Strickland this time will ensure a top 10 entry.
It was a sudden match change, but Ima Boff was rather happy that his opponent had changed to Strickland, a high-ranking player. His original opponent, Gastelum, is ranked 13th in the middleweight rankings, while Strickland is ranked 7th. He said, “If I win this time, my ranking will go up much more than when I won against Gastelum. That’s why I’m grateful.”
Strickland, famous for being a trash talker, provoked Imabov with great intensity. “The French do best is to give up,” he said. “I know Imabov likes to slug and throw hard punches, but he’s still French. The French have historically shown a lot of cowardice.” opened
“Maybe he wants to show that the French are not cowards anymore. But all I know of the Baron French are good at cheating, giving up and losing the fight,” he added.
Imabov was already anticipating Trashtalk. He replied, “The only thing Strickland does better than Gastelum is talking.” 스포츠토토
Meanwhile, Strickland will decorate the main event in both the last competition in 2022 and the first competition in 2023. Strickland lost a split decision to No. 3 middleweight Jared Cannoneer in the main event of the UFC’s final fight on December 17, 2022, exactly four weeks ago.
In the co-main event, Dan Ige (31, USA), ranked 13th in featherweight rankings, will stop Damon Jackson from entering the rankings. Jackson recorded 4 consecutive wins and came to the threshold of entering the rankings for the first time in his career. On the other hand, Ike was on the verge of being eliminated from the rankings with three consecutive losses. It’s a game you can’t back down from.
This is a match that was lost to Jung Chan-sung in 2021 and is familiar to Korean fans.
UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imabov main card will be broadcast live on TVING and tvN SPORTS from 9:00 am on the 15th (Sun).