After his win at UFC Vegas 85, what’s next for Nassourdine Imavov?

MMA: UFC 289-Imavov vs Curtis
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 85, we saw a showdown in the middleweight division with a potential top ten ranking on the line. Eighth ranked Roman Dolidze (12-3) was trying to defend his spot against “The Russian Sniper” Nassourdine Imavov (13-4, 1 NC).

This was a big fight and a big spot for Imavov who had a rocky last couple of bouts following a three-fight winning streak. He lost to Sean Strickland in a short-notice main event and then he had a No Contest with Strickland’s teammate Chris Curtis. That fight was called off due to an accidental clash of heads.

Once again, Imavov was facing a member of that gym in fighting Dolidze. In the first round, Imavov put on an absolute clinic. He dominated the fight and it should’ve been a 10-8 round, although only one judge scored it that way. Imavov looked very sharp from distance and he was frustrating Dolidze.

There was a moment of controversy in the fight when Imavov landed a kick while Dolidze had a hand down. This was a foul and caused some shouting between Imavov and Curtis after what happened in their fight.

The fight continued and Imavov won a majority decision at UFC Vegas 85.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 85?

After the fight was over, Imavov said that he wasn’t interested in fighting Curtis again, but he did want a rematch with Sean Strickland. Unfortunately for Imavov, I don’t see a fight with Strickland in the cards. However, I would be interested in a fight with Chris Curtis especially after they had more heat following Saturday night.

In the updated rankings, Imavov comes in at 8th while Curtis is sitting at 13th. It’s a step back in terms of ranking, but the fight would have some interest due to the beef between the two men. However, if the UFC and Imavov are interested in him fighting up there are a couple of options.

The winner of Joe Pyfer – Jack Hermansson could certainly be an option for Imavov. I also wouldn’t mind seeing him face the winner of Brendan Allen – Marvin Vettori, but they might be too high in the rankings following their win. I like the idea of Pyfer – Imavov if he wins if the Curtis fight isn’t a possibility.