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Roman Dolidze and Nassourdine Imavov face off as the main event at UFC Vegas 85 this weekend. Can Imavov get it done at UFC Fight Night? Ben Rajavuori breaks down Saturday's UFC main event.
ANALYSIS

Roman Dolidze vs. Nassourdine Imavov Prediction: Can Imavov Get it Done at UFC Fight Night?

Two men looking to earn their way towards UFC gold meet in the octagon on Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 85 when Nassourdine Imavov and Roman Dolidze enter the octagon. Roman Dolidze saw a four-fight win streak snapped last time out when he fought gatekeeper Marvin Vettori at UFC 286 last March and lost by unanimous decision.

Dolidze is looking to bounce back and put his name back in the top five and potentially one fight from a title shot. Nassourdine Imavov is coming off a no-contest to Chris Curtis last June at UFC 289, but before that, he lost his fight to Sean Strickland, which snapped a three-fight win streak for the Frenchman. Who will get back on track in this fight and move one step closer to a title fight?

Dolidze vs. Imavov DATE, TIME, AND WHERE TO WATCH

  • Date: February 3, 2024
  • Game Time: 7:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Roman Dolidze vs. Nassourdine Imavov Prediction

Roman Dolidze is now 35 years old and may be nearly out of chances to make another push for the title. Dolidze came into his last fight super hot as he scored three knockout wins in a row over his last three and a decision win over Laureano Staropoli to earn his shot against Marvin Vettori, a top-five-ranked fighter. He was completely outclassed in that fight, losing a decision on all three scorecards and getting outstruck 106–71.

Dolidze also failed to land a takedown in that fight, which is something he will have to correct in this fight if he wants to win. Dolidze does his best work on the ground, but he has had a struggle getting fights to the ground. Dolidze is averaging 1.7 takedowns per fight with 50% accuracy. Given his stiff test against Imavov on the feet, his best path to winning this fight is getting Imavov down in multiple rounds to win.

Nassourdine Imavov is coming off a tough no-contest to Chris Curtis, which halted a very good trajectory for him in the UFC. Aside from his loss to Sean Strickland, the former champ, he is 4-1 in the UFC with some impressive finishes against Edmen Shahbazyan and Ian Heinisch.

Imavov is a striker first, and his striking has come a long way since he joined the UFC. He is still just 28 years old and he is continuing to get better each time we see him in the octagon. With a win over the Roman here, he will surely be propelled into a fight with a top-five opponent. The big thing for this fight will be keeping it off the ground, as he has 72% takedown defense, and will surely be ready for Dolidze to shoot.

This feels like an uphill battle for Dolidze from the start. Imavov can fight at range and will be the taller fighter with an equal range. Imavov is excellent at fighting from range and can draw Dolidze into takedown attempts and land counter shots from those takedown attempts. Imavov is the better all-around striker, and Dolidze will probably have to land at least one takedown in the rounds he expects to win, and he will have to win three rounds to win this fight.

Imavov has been durable, so I do not see Doldize finishing him, which means he would have to beat him by decision over five rounds. That seems like a tall task for Dolidze with how good Imavov has looked on the feet. I like Imavov to win this fight and crack into the top five in the middleweight division.

Roman Dolidze vs. Nassourdine Imavov Prediction

Pick: Nassourdine Imavov ML -165 Click here to see which sportsbook has the best odds

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Article Author

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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