New York, NY — “Russian Sniper” Nassourdine Imavov believes that he’s the real future of the middleweight division.
“Yes, definitely. I think that if I have this opportunity, it’s because the UFC thinks I’m the future, and this is the time to show who I am, really,” he said during the UFC 268 media day, ahead of his return to the octagon this Saturday.
It wasn’t too long ago that Imavov’s opponent, Edmen Shahbazyan, was seen as the future of the 185lb weight class. A strong showing on Dana White’s Contender Series propelled that, but lately, Shahbazyan has struggled, back-to-back losses against Jack Hermansson and Derek Brunson weighing him down.
Has the UFC perhaps switched from favoring Shahbazyan to France’s Imavov? “I don’t really know, I think that’s the case. The one who has his hand raised at the end of the fight will be me, so I think they should invest in me,” he stated.
With Francis Ngannou and now Ciryl Gane also coming out of the same camp as Imavov, he has an obvious source of motivation. “Yes, definitely. That’s kind of inspiring for me. We know that Ciryl almost touched the roof, and that’s kind of exciting for me. I know what I have to go through, I know all the obsctables I have to cross to get there, and I will make sure I get there.”
Watch the full UFC 268 media day appearance from Nassourdine Imavov above. More coverage of the event can be found below. UFC 268 takes place Saturday November 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.