UFC 289: Accidental Head Clash Stops Imavov vs. Curtis, Ruled No Contest

Nassourdine Imavov and Chris Curtis, UFC 289
Nassourdine Imavov and Chris Curtis, UFC 289 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

The featured preliminary card bout at UFC 289 found ranked middleweights Nassourdine Imavov and Chris Curtis facing off.

Both fighters were looking to bounce back from recent losses — Curtis against Kelvin Gastelum, and Imavov opposite Curtis’ teammate Sean Strickland.

Imavov pushed the pace early on before securing a takedown on Curtis – marking the first time Curtis has ever been taken down inside the UFC octagon (stuffed 35/35 attempts prior). The French striker returned to his Dagestani roots, controlling Curtis on the ground and nearly securing an early submission finish via rear-naked choke. The Xtreme Couture product fought the hands, however, and managed to battle back to his feet prior to the round’s end.

The featured prelim would end in anticlimactic fashion, as Curtis and Imavov came together and accidentally clashed heads, opening up a severe cut above the eye of Curtis and sending him to a knee. The warrior that is Chris Curtis would plead his case, urging referee Jason Herzog to give him more time to recover despite being unable to see out of his right eye.

“Give me one more minute. One more minute please,” Curtis said.

Herzog had no choice but to stop the contest, with Curtis falling victim to yet another accidental clash of heads and Imavov expressing his frustration by launching his mouthpiece into the stands.

It will be interesting to see whether the UFC rebooks the bout for later this summer, or goes in another direction with the two middleweight combatants.

Official Result: Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis ends in a No Contest (Accidental clash of heads) Round 2, 3:04