UFC Vegas 19 will take place this weekend. Although the card has been reduced by one fight, it is still stacked with some incredibly interesting fights across multiple weight classes. One such fight takes place in the middleweight division as Phillip Hawes takes on Nassourdine Imavov.
Both men are currently unranked in the UFC’s middleweight division, which is arguably its most talent-stacked division. Both ‘Megatron’ and Imavov will be aiming to secure a win and take a step towards gaining a rank in the UFC.
Heading into the fight, we take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters and the potential route to victory for both men.
Phil Hawes made his UFC debut on Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2017 when he was viciously knocked out by Julian Marquez. He was since released and fought elsewhere before returning to the UFC in September 2020 on Dana White’s Contender Series. He secured an impressive TKO win over Khadzimurat Bestaev in round one. Most recently, he stopped Jacob Malkoun in 18-seconds at UFC 254.
Nassourdine Imavov made his UFC debut last October and secured a unanimous decision win over Jordan Williams. He will be aiming to build on that and secure his second win in the promotion. Imavov is currently riding a six-fight win streak.
‘Megatron’ is a knockout artist and has secured 78% of his wins via T/KO. He had landed an impressive 4.14 significant strikes per minute in the UFC thus far. However, he has absorbed a concerning 4.81 significant strikes in return. Hawes has also averaged 1.68 takedowns per 15 minutes with an accuracy of 14%.
Imavov is an expert on the ground and has secured 44% of his wins via submission. However, this does not mean he lags behind on the feet. Nassourdine has landed an impressive 4.53 significant strikes per minute and has absorbed just 2.0 in return. He has also averaged one takedown per 15 minutes and four submission attempts in the same time frame.
Hawes’ takedown defense has not been tested thus far in the UFC. He will need to be sharp and keep the fight standing for his best chance at victory. If he is able to do so, he should be able to secure another knockout win.
Prediction: Phillip Hawes via T/KO
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