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Jared Cannonier will try to maintain his spot on the periphery of the 185-pound title in the fifth middleweight main event of 2024, while Nassourdin Imavov will take aim at the veteran striker’s spot in the top five.
These contenders are the highlights of the UFC’s return to Louisville, which tops a 14-fight card on Saturday and includes several past title challengers and several past winners of The Ultimate Fighter.
Imavov, 29, is trying to move up from his No. 7 ranking in the division after a win over Roman Dolidze in February and is 11 years younger than Cannonier.

“I think he’s underestimating me and you know what happens when fighters underestimate their opponent, especially at his age, so that’s something that could go against him,” Imavov, of France, told reporters through a translator on Wednesday. Cannonier, who turns 40 in March, has been on a roll at 185 pounds and is coming off a record-setting performance against Marvin Vettori in his most recent outing. Cannonier set a new record for most strikes landed in a middleweight bout when he landed 241 strikes on his much-mighty Italian opponent.

“If he fights the way we expect him to, it will be a good night for me,” Cannonier, the current No. 4-ranked contender, said of Imavov. If he fights trying to escape, it won’t look good, it won’t look good for him, so I expect him to come full force and it will be right. That’s what I want. Someone who’s willing to put the fight in with me.”

“A good fight to blow the dust off.” It’s been almost a full 12 months since Cannonier last fought, and he suffered a torn MCL in October. Striking metrics are similar between the two, with Cannonier being slightly more aggressive, some credit for his two-fight winning streak, but giving up more opportunities defensively (4.69 significant strikes thrown per minute on 52 percent accuracy, 4.13 absorbed per minute on 59 percent defense) than Imavov (4.53 significant strikes thrown per minute, 54 percent accuracy, only 3.26 significant strikes absorbed per minute and 61 percent defense) believes his youth and speed will give him an advantage heading into the weekend. Cannonier is 7-2 since dropping down to middleweight, with his two losses coming to former champion Israel Adesanya in their UFC 276 title fight and another to former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 17 months ago when they met at 205 pounds, a five-round decision over Strickland. Please no funny things on the scorecard! Coming off the UFC 302 event, which featured multiple instances of questionable judging, any fan who remembers the UFC’s only other event at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center may have some apprehension heading into the weekend. The fifth middleweight main event of 2024 sees Jared Cannonier try to maintain his spot on the perimeter of the 185-pound title picture, while Nassourdin Imavov takes aim at. These contenders are the highlights of the UFC’s return to Louisville, which tops a 14-fight card on Saturday and includes several past title challengers and several past winners of The Ultimate Fighter. Imavov on SN360 and Sportsnet+, with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, June 8.

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Imaov, 29, is coming off a win over Roman Dolidze in February, trying to move up from his No. 7 ranking in the division, and is 11 years younger than Cannonier.

Told reporters through a translator on Wednesday. Cannonier, who turns 40 in March, has been on a roll at 185 pounds and is coming off a record-setting performance against Marvin Vettori in his most recent outing. Cannonier set a new record for most significant strikes in a middleweight bout when he landed a whopping 241 strikes on his much-stronger Italian opponent.Jared Cannonier will try to maintain his spot on the periphery of the 185-pound title in the fifth middleweight main event of 2024, while Nassourdin Imavov takes aim at the veteran striker’s spot in the top five. These contenders are the highlights of the UFC’s return to Louisville, topping a 14-fight card Saturday that includes several past title challengers and several past winners of The Ultimate Fighter. “If he fights the way we expect him to, it will be a good night for me,” Cannonier, the current No. 4 ranked contender, said of Imavov. If he fights trying to escape, it won’t look good, it won’t look good for him, so I expect him to come full force and it will be right. That’s what I want. Someone who’s willing to put the fight in with me.”

Striking metrics are similar between the two, with Cannonier being slightly more aggressive, some credit for his two-fight winning streak, but giving up more opportunities defensively (4.69 significant strikes thrown per minute on 52 percent accuracy, 4.13 absorbed per minute on 59 percent defense). Imavov (4.53 significant strikes thrown per minute, 54 percent accuracy, only 3.26 significant strikes absorbed per minute and 61 percent defense) believes his youth and speed will give him an advantage over the weekend. Cannonier is 7-2 since dropping down to middleweight, with his two losses coming to former champion Israel Adesanya in their UFC 276 title fight and another to former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 by unanimous decision. Strickland was handed a five-round decision when they met at 205 pounds 17 months ago. Please no funny things on the scorecard! Coming off the UFC 302 event, which featured multiple instances of questionable judging, any fan who remembers the UFC’s only other event at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center may feel some apprehension heading into the weekend. That 2011 event took place during a bygone era of the UFC, but it was a memorable event. It aired on a now-defunct US TV network, two preliminary bouts were streamed on Facebook, featured the debut of future UFC champion Chris Weidman, plus it was the first UFC event to include a separate 3D broadcast. Indeed! The main event was a fun three round bout between welterweights Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez that has lived in infamy due to the scorecards. Sanchez won by split decision despite being outstruck throughout and suffering far more damage. All that to say, hopefully we can avoid any controversial results this weekend.