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Nassourdine Imavov looking for revenge against Sean Strickland after Jared Cannonier fight (Exclusive)

Published at :June 5, 2024 at 2:53 PM
Modified at :June 5, 2024 at 2:53 PM
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Akash Dhanagaran

Imavov will main event UFC Fight Night against Jared Cannonier

Nassourdine Imavov is a Russian born French professional Mixed Martial Artist. He has been competing in MMA since 2016 and made his way to UFC in 2020. He currently fights in the Middleweight division of UFC and is ranked #8 in the middleweight rankings. He has a professional record of 13 wins, 4 losses and 1 no-contest in his eighteen matches.

Nassaourdine Imavov is all set to face Middleweight #4 Jared Cannonier on June 8, 2024 at UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Imavov in the main event. Ahead of the fight, Imavov sat for an exclusive interview with Khel Now and answered a number of questions. Here are all the topics we discussed with Nassourdine Imavov.

Taking a look at your history, you fought in a number of divisions. How do you prepare yourself stepping into different divisions?

“When I fought for the Welterweight (77 Kgs) the weight cut was very difficult for me. I was very tired. Now I’m fighting for 84 kilograms, I am doing a good job. The cut is not that hard, so the performance inside the cage is way better.”

What are your outcomes of the last two fights? How motivated are you for the next one?

Nassourdine Imavov said, “Basically against Chris Curtis, it was a very frustrating experience. What happened is, even though I was dominating the fight, the match resulted in a no contest. It just rubbed me from the win against Chris Curtis. So that is a lot of frustration.

“Against Roman Dolitze, it was a good performance, a tough fight, he is a tough contender. But with Roman, I prove that I can really dominate into the top 10 of the division.”

Your opponent Jared Cannonier is more experienced compared to you, what’s your game plan against him?

“Jared Cannonier is a very strong opponent, so the goal is to touch without being touched, especially knockout artists like him. That’s what we do touch without being touched, like strike him and we’ll see from then. My goal is to be able to adapt during the fight, depending on the reaction of my opponent.”

Before entering the UFC, you ended most of your matches in the very first round. And now it’s completely different. Your fights go deeper into the rounds. Where do you differentiate yourself from 2019 to now?

“So what changed drastically is the level of opposition. Because I went to the UFC, where the level of opposition is way higher, so it’s more difficult to finish them. To finish them at this level, you need to work on details, like very minor details during the fight, so that’s where I am focusing my work on, in order to get the finish, get it quickly. Because what the audience is looking for and the UFC also.”

What’s next for you, after fighting Cannonier?

“After this fight against Cannonier, I would like to fight the guy closer to the belt, because the belt is my goal. It could be Sean Strickland, who is currently the #1 in the rankings. We shared history together, we fought, but it was not in the right condition for me, because that was not in my weight class. So revenge would be nice, but any fight that gets me closer to the belt, would be a nice fight after this one.”

Who is Nassourdine Imavov’s dream opponent?

“Any opponent for the belt, but if it is not for the belt, Strickland is a very good opponent that I like to take revenge against.”

Any message to your fans?

“I would like to thank all my fans, from all around the world. Big thanks for everything they do for us. I hope I will give the best performance on June 8, to impress them and to make them happy.”

Watch UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Imavov on 9th June 2024 from 5:30 AM IST onwards LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 SD & HD, Sony Sports Ten 3 SD & HD (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 SD & HD (Tamil & Telugu).

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