Nassourdine Imavov, UFC Vegas 85

Nassourdine Imavov nearly stops Roman Dolidze early, wins grueling fight in UFC Vegas 85 main event

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to us tonight, February 3, 2024, for UFC Vegas 85, going down live from the UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada.

Headlining the event is a middleweight matchup between no. 8 ranked Roman Dolidze (12-3) and no. 11 ranked Nassourdine Imavov (13-4).

Dolidze came in off a close decision defeat to no. 5 ranked Marvin Vettori last March, a fight he went into on a four-fight win, three-fight knockout streak.

Imavov on the other hand came in having gone 0-1 with one no contest last year in 2023 following defeat to no. 1 ranked former champion Sean Strickland in January, an accidental clash of heads stopping his fight with no. 13 ranked Chris Curtis last June.

Continue reading to see how our middleweight main event of the evening went down:

Official Result: Nassourdine Imavov def. Roman Dolidze via majority decision (49-44, 47-47, 48-46)

Dolidze ties up with Imavov in the early goings of the bout, Imavov eventually shaking him off and getting back to his striking that looks very slick. Imavov lands a beautiful right hand followed by a nasty knee to the body that crumbles Dolidze.

Imavov tees off on Dolidze for the final minute of the opening round, nearly stopping the fight in its tracks early. He takes the back of Dolidze as the round comes to a close, continuing to reign down punches before going for an armbar at the very end of the round he came quite close to securing.

The striking totals at the end of round one was 66-7 in favor of Imavov. Yikes.

Most of round two is spent with Dolidze pressing Imavov into the fence without securing a takedown. The referee is forced to break the action as a result of inactivity with about 20 seconds left in the second, Imavov landing another solid right hand as the round comes to a close.

Imavov continues to land that hard right hand in round three, mixing good body kicks in here and there as well. Dolidze continues tying up with him, pressing Imavov into the fence, but he’s not changing levels in attempt to really get the fight down to the mat. He’s simply holding on trying not to take more damage.

Imavov partially takes Dolidze’s back in round four and lands an illegal head kick, the referee taking a point from him considering. Once the bout resumes Dolidze ties up with Imavov again, finally changing levels for a double leg takedown. After a scramble Dolidze ends up on top, but not for long as Imavov gets back to his feet.

Both men exchange an array of punches, each man landing hard shots as the fourth round comes to a close.

Imavov and Dolidze take turns controlling the clinch in the fifth and final round; Dolidze rolls for a leg lock that he doesn’t get, and Imavov was tiring by this point as well with not much output himself.

Roman Dolidze had a lot taken out of him in that opening round, and Nassourdine Imavov kept his composure throughout. The scoring totals were a bit strange, each man having a 10-8 round as Imavov certainly dominated Dolidze in the first and Dolidze probably won the fourth 10-8, or at the least it was an even 9-9 round, but the right man won the fight.

A fight nearly broke out between Dolidze’s teammate Chris Curtis and Imavov during the break in round four, as the two certainly have some unfinished business. How about a rematch between those two next?

If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to share it on social media!

author avatar
Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!