January 13, 2023 1:18 PM
Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Sean Strickland vs Nassourdine Imavov UFC Vegas 67

Click here for today’s sports betting tips from our expert analysts!


When is UFC Fight Night 217? Saturday 14th January, 2023 - 22:00 start (UK)

Where is UFC Fight Night 217? UFC APEX, Enterprise, Nevada (US)

Where can I get tickets for UFC Fight Night 217? Click here to buy tickets for UFC Fight Night

What channel is UFC Fight Night 217 on? BT Sport 1

Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 217? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!


Sean Strickland (25-5) puts his hand up to replace Kelvin Gastelum on short notice. He is no doubt crazy enough to take on a middleweight contender or maybe it is because he has just lost two on the bounce and desperate to get back on track. The current champion Alex Pereira snapped the six-fight win streak back in July taking less than three minutes to bury him. He returned last month for another tough fight in Jared Cannonier and just missed out on a razor thin split decision.

Nassourdine Imavov (12-3) is beginning to fill the potential the European fans have desperate to witness for a long time. His only loss in his last 10 came on his second UFC outing coming up short in a majority decision to Phil Hawes (2021). However, since then he has gone on a tear ruthlessly knocking out Ian Heinisch (2021) and Edmen Shahbazyan (2021) before earning a classy unanimous decision over Joaquin Buckley four months ago.


This is at light heavyweight as Strickland was never going to make 185 lbs. He is essentially a boxer so the extra weight will not make much difference but it will come in handy in the grappling exchanges. They match up similarly physically with Imavov boasting three inches in height and Strickland boasting an inch in reach.

Imavov has a full camp behind him however, Strickland’s cardio will be better. Imavov’s endurance is an area for improvement whereas Strickland is always in fight shape and his style is well suited for five rounds.

Expect Strickland to go about business as usual by walking Imavov down and suffocating him with his pressure. He will offload a relentless output with his hands and gradually wear Imavov down. If this goes past the third round, he will be in his element praying on a fatigued Frenchman.

Imavov is a brilliant striker with a more diverse attack, but if this stays on the feet, Strickland will chip away and get stronger with each round. If Imavov starts quick and fires off leg kicks to slow Strickland down, he can make this competitive, but he has to dictate the early pace.

If Strickland starts to land at will, expect Imavov to initiate his grappling. Strickland is an underrated grappler so the exchanges will be very competitive especially in the clinch. In summary, we expect this to be even everywhere and if Imavov executes a good strategy he can collect his biggest win.

However, despite the lack of preparation, we feel Strickland’s cardio and experience will pay dividends and his output will sway the judges.

Prediction: Strickland via Decision - CLICK HERE FOR PARIMATCH'S WELCOME OFFER (BET £5, GET £30 IN BONUSES!)

Value Bet: Strickland via Decision

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