UFC Louisville: Nassourdine Imavov Feels Cannonier May Be Overlooking Him

French middleweight Nassourdine Imavov can add his name to the title mix with a successful showing at UFC Louisville this Saturday— though he’ll have to go through Jared Cannonier to do so.

In his last fight, against Marvin Vettori, Cannonier set a record for strikes in the UFC’s 185lb division. While Imavov is expecting a similar approach from “The Killa Gorilla,” he doesn’t expect it to be successful.

“They are both at the end of their career. He’s probably going to try to do this to me, but I’m way more way more fresh, young, fast,” Imavov (13-4, 1NC) explained during Wednesday’s UFC Louisville media day. “So I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that.”

Imavov, who has won four of his last five fights (excluding a No Contest with Chris Curtis), knows what is potentially on the line this Saturday. While the next title shot is likely to go to Israel Adesanya, beyond that, the field is open, and timing is everything in MMA. “I feel highly motivated. I know with this victory I can fight for the belt, and so I’m very happy to be in this spot now.”

That also has him gunning for a finish, though finishing the fight is always the plan, Imavov added.

“Of course I feel highly motivated to finish the fight. It’s the case in every fight I do, I’m always looking for the finish. I know that’s what the UFC wants, what the audience wants, what I want, what I’m looking for. I’m going to do my best to have a dominant performance and finish the fight.”

Cannonier has said ahead of UFC Louisville that Imavov is a good opponent to “knock the dust off,” and the French middleweight believes he might be being overlooked. “I feel like he underestimates me,” opined Imavov. “And you know what happens when fighters underestimate their opponent, especially at his age. So that’s something that could go against him.”

Watch the full UFC Louisville media day appearance by Nassourdine Imavov above.