What’s next for Sean Strickland and Nassourdine Imavov after UFC Vegas 67?

By Cole Shelton - January 16, 2023

In the UFC’s first event of 2023, a light heavyweight bout headlined the card as Sean Strickland stepped up on short notice to take on Nassourdine Imavov.

Sean Strickland, Nassourdine Imavov

Strickland lost a split decision to Jared Cannonier in the final event of 2022 and decided to step up on a few days’ notice to try and get back in the win column. Prior to his loss to the ‘Killa Gorilla’, Sean had been knocked out by Alex Pereira in a potential title eliminator. Imavov, meanwhile, entered the fight on a three-fight winning streak to earn his first UFC main event.

Ultimately, Strickland controlled the fight to cruise to a clear-cut decision win to get back into the win column. Now, after the first event of 2023, here is what I think should be next for both fighters involved in the main event.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland said he only took this fight because he was mad at losing a close decision to Cannonier, and the UFC was paying him a lot of money to take it. Even though he didn’t have much notice, Strickland was able to outstrike Imavov and push the pace to win a clear-cut decision.

Although this fight was at light heavyweight, both men are middleweights, so it does help him at 185lbs. The top of the division is still murky so Strickland may have to fight behind him unless Robert Whittaker wants to take that fight. But, I expect the Aussie to wait and see what the promotion does with the title, so instead, Strickland vs. Andre Muniz if he gets past Brendan Allen next month is the fight to make.

Nassourdine Imavov

Even though Imavov had a full camp to get ready, he still had to fight on short notice as his fight changed to 205lbs and had a different opponent. Imavov did have some moments in the fight but his cardio ended up proving to be a difference.

Ultimately, I expect Imavov to be rebooked against Kelvin Gastelum sometime in the next few months once both are healthy. This is a fight the UFC has wanted to make – as it has been booked twice now – and with Imavov entering the fight on a loss, both need the win desperately.

What do you think should be next for Sean Strickland and Nassourdine Imavov after UFC Vegas 67?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Sean Strickland UFC