Tomorrow night, the UFC has their first card of 2023 and they have an entertaining bout in the headliner although it wasn’t the fight that was originally scheduled. Nassourdine Imavov (12-3) was set to take on Kelvin Gastelum in tomorrow’s main event.
However, Gastelum took a knee in training that forced him out of the fight at the last minute. Sean Strickland (25-5) offered up his services to step in to the main event if the fight would take place at 205 pounds. The men agreed and we have a new five round main event tomorrow night.
Strickland just headlined a card last month when he took on Jared Cannonier. It was a very close split decision that Strickland was on the losing end of. Prior to that, he suffered a first round knockout loss against current champion Alex Pereira.
Nassourdine Imavov has been quietly making his way up the rankings with his last three wins. He’s defeated the likes of Ian Heinisch, Edmen Shahbazyan, and Joaquin Buckley to earn this main event. If he can beat Strickland tomorrow night, it should only be top ten contenders from here on out.
UFC Vegas 67 Prediction
Nassourdine Imavov is a sniper on the feet and I think early on, you’re going to see a lot of big shots coming Strickland’s way. That said, Strickland has some of the best and most deceptive striking defense in the division. I think more heat will come from Imavov, but I think he’ll miss more than he expects to.
The first couple of rounds, I like Imavov. If this was a three round fight, I’d probably lean towards him as well. However, as the fight goes on at UFC Vegas 67, I think things swing towards Sean Strickland. The final three rounds are going to really favor him and his volume.
So, what does that tell you? I think we are in for another close decision. This time, I think Sean Strickland is going to be on the winning side of things and he will get back on track.
Prediction: Sean Strickland by Decision