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MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event for UFC Fight Night 235.

UFC Fight Night 235 (ESPN+) takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Roman Dolidze (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)

Roman Dolidze UFC 286 Ceremonial Weigh-ins

Staple info:

Height: 6’2″ Age: 35 Weight: 185 lbs. Reach: “76” Last fight: Decision loss to Marvin Vettori (March 18, 2023) Camp: Xtreme Couture (Las Vegas, NV) Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/muay Thai Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ Regional MMA title

+ Multiple grappling accolades

+ 7 KO victories

+ 3 submission wins

+ 7 first-round finishes

+ KO power

+ Aggressive pace and pressure

+ Steadily improving striking

^ Coming forward or in combination

+ Strikes well off the breaks

+ Strong inside of the clinch

^ Hard knees and elbows

+ Dangerous transitional grappler

^ Opportunistic submissions and active guard

Nassourdine Imavov (12-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC)


Staple info:

Height: 6’3″ Age: 28 Weight: 185 lbs. Reach: 75″ Last fight: *No Contest with Chris Curtis (June 20, 2023) Camp: MMA Factory (France) Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ Regional MMA title

+ 5 knockout victories

+ 4 submission wins

+ 7 first-round finishes

+ Solid feel for range and movement

+ Works well off of lead hand

^ Hard hooks and uppercuts

+ Strong inside the clinch

^ Frames well for knees and elbows

+ Strikes well off the breaks

+ Serviceable wrestling ability

^ Defensively and offensively

+ Deceptive front-choke acumen

+ Grapples well from topside

Point of interest: Middleweight maelstrom

Mar 18, 2023; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Marvin Vettori (red gloves) fights Roman Dolidze (blue gloves) during UFC 286 at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

The main event on ESPN+ features a pair of ranked middleweights who are incredibly offensive-minded.

A marauding madman on all fronts, Roman Dolidze – despite his grappling base – has proven that he is not afraid to mix things up on the feet.

Competent from either stance, Dolidze is a fairly flexible striker who carries power in both hands. Whether Dolidze is looking to incite exchanges by initiating or countering in combination, the 35-year-old Georgian throws almost everything with fight-ending intentions.

When feeling in stride, Dolidze will unleash some surprisingly fast and flashy kicks that he typically targets the head with. That said, Dolidze has also shown the ability to sneakily connect punches to kicks and knees off of the same side, particularly when looking to close distance in open-stance affairs.

Still, closing the distance can be easier said than done when it comes to a fighter like Nassourdine Imavov.

Although he appears to possess a natural aptitude for countering, Imavov also has a penchant for piecing together offense off of his lead hand.

From active feints to sneaky hooks off of his jab, Imavov seems to have a solid sense of range that helps fuel his attacks. And when Imavov can corral his opposition toward the cage, the Russian-born fighter is not afraid to unleash everything from hooking combinations to flying knees.

Imavov also carries a lot of the defensive and standing swagger that you see from some of his other MMA Factory stablemates, which in turn helps his countering sensibilities.

Nevertheless, Imavov’s low-handed guard and sometimes lackadaisical approach to offense have cost him both when coming forward (in the form of

Author: Staff

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