UFC Fight Night 217: Strickland vs Imavov

UFC Fight Night 217
Photo Credit: MMAfighting.com.UFC.ESPN.

An entertaining UFC fight night 217 card from the Apex was highlighted by an absolute battle between Nassourdine Imavov and Sean Strickland. In a back-and-forth fight, Strickland earned a unanimous decision victory outpointing Imavov while showcasing his boxing skills and conditioning. Strickland was filling in on five days’ notice for the injured Kelvin Gastelum. Also, Dan Ige and Umar Nurmagomedov finished each of their opponents by a devastating knockout.

#7 Sean Strickland (26-5) Def. #12 Nassourdine Imavov (12-4)

In the main event, Sean Strickland faced rising contender Nassourdine Imavov. Coming into this matchup Strickland had lost a closely contested decision to Jared Cannonier in December of last year. Strickland’s willingness to headline back-to-back cards for the UFC shows his dedication to his career and ranking. He desperately wanted to get back in the win column and show fans that he wasn’t the fighter they saw in his last two performances. Imavov is a well-rounded prospect whose only previous loss came against collegiate wrestler Phil Hawes.

In round one Strickland controlled the action and was much more aggressive than in recent fights. Strickland walked through the powerful shots of Imavov using effective timing to counter his opponent. Imavov attempted a spinning back fist and multiple kicks, but Strickland continued to pressure Imavov and land combinations of his own. Round one was fought at a very high pace with Strickland jumping out to an early lead.

In rounds two and three Strickland started to separate himself from Imavov. Strickland was able to take Imavov down mid-way through round two and seemed to be the physically stronger fighter. This was the first main event of Imavov’s career while Strickland has been the five-round distance four times. This could have played a factor in the conditioning of Imavov, who seemed to fatigue as the fight went on. Imavov had a better fourth round, but he was significantly behind in the fight. Strickland outstruck Imavov 134-67 in punches landed to the head. After five rounds Strickland was the clear winner and was awarded a unanimous decision victory. (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).

What’s Next?

After headlining back-to-back UFC cards Sean Strickland more than deserves some much-needed time off to recover. When he returns, however, I would like to see him fight #6 Paulo Costa. Costa recently pulled out of a fight with former champion Robert Whittaker and is in need of an opponent. If Strickland returns in the summer or falls this would be an interesting matchup stylistically. Both fighters are known as strikers but also possess jiu-jitsu black belts. Strickland has made negative public comments about Costa in previous interviews, and this could be the highest profile match for each at this point in their careers.

#13 Dan Ige (16-6) Def. Damon Jackson (22-5)

UFC veterans and contending featherweights Dan Ige and Damon Jackson were the Co-Main event of Saturday’s fight night. Ige had fallen on hard times coming into this contest dropping 4 of his last 5 fights. Ige’s losses came against the topflight competition, and he has never been finished in his professional career. Damon Jackson is a skilled grappler who was riding a four-fight win streak into this matchup.

Round one started off fast as Ige put pressure on Jackson. Jackson was attempting to keep Ige at distance with a straight jab and leg kicks. Ige was able to land hooks to the head and body of Jackson on the inside and eventually took him down in round one as well. Ige seemed to be the physically stronger fighter and once he realized Jackson couldn’t take him down his confidence began to grow. A minute into round two Ige threw a straight right hand to the body followed by a left hook to the head that knocked Jackson out cold. This was a vintage Dan Ige performance that showed why he belongs in the top 15 rankings.

UFC Fight Night 217 Prelims:

The UFC Fight Night 217 Prelims were stacked with young talent. Most notably Umar Nurmagomedov showed why many believe that he will be a future champion at 135 pounds. In his fight with dangerous Brazilian Raoni Barcelos, he showed that he is not only a world-class wrestler but a problem on the feet as well. With 20 seconds left in round one, Nurmagomedov threw a knee to the body then a left hook to the head that shut Barcelos lights out. After Barcelos hit the floor Nurmagomedov landed another powerful right hand on his already unconscious opponent. This was a dominant win that will put the entire Bantamweight Division on notice. Nurmagomedov is trained by his legendary cousin Khabib Nurmagomedov and represents the most dominant fighting family in the world today.

Also, on the UFC Fight Night, 217 prelims Roman Kopylov put on an impressive performance in his fight against Punahele Soriano. Kopylov is a good striker who found recent troubles against wrestlers Albert Duraev and Karl Roberson. Kopylov did not have to worry about getting taken down in this matchup and put on his best UFC performance to date. The stinging jab of Kopylov was the story of this fight, as it helped gauge distance and was also damaging to Soriano. Midway through round two Kopylov landed a beautiful kick to the liver that folded Soriano over. From there Kopylov opened up with 10-15 unanswered punches that forced the referee to stop the fight.

The UFC will be back next week with two title fights from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

For the latest sports news via Fantom Sports Industries. Follow us on Twitter via @Fantom_sports. Like us on Facebook via Fantom Sports Industries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel via Fantom Sports. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Shop Fantom Sports Industries Merch.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

2023 MLB award predictions
With the 2023 MLB season just days away, the present presents a […]
The Yankees fell short of their goal in 2022. Though, it was […]
Red Sox Leadoff
Red Sox Leadoff Spot Candidates Opening day is only days away and […]
Armando Bacot Returning
Coming off a disappointing season after being the first team ranked preseason […]
Elite Eight
The two Regional Champions in Florida Atlantic and UConn await their matchups […]

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

%d bloggers like this: