In a successful trip back to Fight Island last week for UFC 253, we saw a lot of bright spots. Israel Adesanya retaining his title, Jan Blachowicz winning the vacant light heavyweight title, plus a lot of fighters putting their name on the board. A week later, at UFC Fight Island 4, we see a big fight in the women’s bantamweight division topping the card. Holly Holm will be taking on the red hot Irena Aldana in the main event. Also on the card is Germaine de Randamie taking on Julianna Peña, Carlos Condit, and a slew of debuts. Jordan Williams impressed on this season of the Contender Series with a win and earning a contract and will be debuting this card. He will be taking on Nassourdine Imavov, also making his debut.
Nassourdine “Russian Sniper” Imavov
How will Imavov fare in the UFC:
Imavov is well-deserving of this UFC call-up tearing it up lately on a five-fight win streak. Imavov is primarily a striker but he does have some skills on the feet. Not really any offensive wrestling but he is a pretty good submission threat. He’s got quick instincts when it comes to taking the neck providing dangerous front chokes and just attacking the neck in general. Imavov on top fights pretty tight using his length as he can lock anything up at any point.
On the feet, Imavov will bounce around a lot staying in his foe’s face throwing the jab, one-two, and the right hand which is his best weapon. Imavov is a sniper picking his shots with his hands and has a nasty lead knee he throws going forward and backward. He’s a bit slow bringing his hands back when he throws, which has led to him getting tagged many times with counters. So as nice and accurate as he is as a striker his head movement does need improvement. Where he struggles the most however is his takedown defense. Imavov has good vision seeing the shot usually sprawling but getting his hips back is his problem. Of what I’ve seen he hasn’t been on his back too much but he definitely struggles. It’s pretty easy to pass his guard and he easily gives up bad positions. Definitely a good signing as he just needs some sharpening around the edges.
- Striking: B+
- Kickboxing: C+
- Clinch: A-
- Wrestling: C
- Grappling: B-
- Striking Defense: C
- Takedown Defense: C-
- Cardio: B
- Biggest Strength: Shot-selection
- Biggest Weakness: TDD
How he matches up with Williams:
Williams is an all-around solid fighter. Has good wrestling and is dangerous on the feet. Imavov is the taller guy but Williams has the longer reach and I look for him to use his jab frequently in this fight. Imavov is probably the better striker but Williams hits a lot harder and will come forward and definitely take advantage of that head on the centerline. I have no doubt Williams can take this fight down and I think he will have to mix in wrestling to ensure a win. Williams has good ground and pound and has good top position but I’m not sure he’s the guy to neutralize Imavov.
It’s going to be interesting the later the fight goes because Williams does slow slightly and Imavov probably has the better cardio and gets better in the later rounds. I don’t think the fight is going to come down to any gas tank issues mind you, so I like Williams in this fight. Williams due to his wrestling, power, and aggressiveness — he has the tools to beat Imavov.