UFC Louisville Main Event Preview and Prediction: Jared Cannonier – Nassourdine Imavov

Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES; Jared Cannonier (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Derek Brunson (Blue Gloves) during UFC 271 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night the UFC returns to Louisville and we will see a banger between two top seven middleweights in the main event. Former title challenger Jared Cannonier (17-6) will look to take another step towards another title shot as he takes on the “Russian Sniper” Nassourdine Imavov (13-4).

Starting with Cannonier, he got his title shot nearly two years ago and lost a decision to Israel Adesanya. Following that, he won a very close split decision over eventual champion Sean Strickland. Following that win over Strickland, Cannonier had a dominant win over Marvin Vettori. A knee injury has kept him out for the last year. Cannonier was supposed to fight Roman Dolidze in December, but that fell through due to injury.

With that fight falling through, Dolidze ended up fighting Imavov back in February. Imavov completely dominated Dolidze over the course of five rounds. Imavov went 1-1 in his first two UFC fights before going on a three-fight win streak including a win over Joaquin Buckley. Since that win though, he’s 1-1, 1 NC in his last three. He needs a big win over a guy like Cannonier to get into the title picture.

UFC Louisville Prediction

Jared Cannonier will make the walk at UFC Louisville as the oldest fighter on the card at 40. That said, Cannonier did not fight his age in his last fight. In fact, he looked better than ever against Marvin Vettori. He threw with a ton of powerful volume and fought with a ton of forward pressure. Both of those are going to be key tomorrow night.

He cannot fight on the outside with Imavov. Imavov lives up to his name of The Russian Sniper. He’s very long for the division and he can snipe Cannonier from the outside just like Israel Adesanya did. However, if Cannonier can close the distance and use his power, I really like him in this matchup.

I’ll be curious to see if he looks at all rusty or if his cardio takes a hit coming off the knee injury. That said, I’m going with Cannonier in this one. I think he’ll be able to close the distance and his big power will be enough to win at least three of the five rounds. This will be competitive, but The Killa Gorilla gets the win at UFC Louisville.

Prediction: Jared Cannonier by Decision

Mentioned in this article:

More about: