UFC Vegas 85: Chris Curtis fires shots at Nassourdine Imavov after illegal kick to Roman Dolidze

Nassourdone Imavov had a successful outing inside the octagon after he changed training camps and management. Imavov, ranked 11, defeated the eighth-ranked middleweight contender Roman Dolidze in the main event of UFC Vegas 85 and thereby registered his first win since 2022.

The Imavov versus Dolidze fight was not without controversy, as the French-Dagestani fighter had a verbal altercation with Chris Curtis, who was in the corner of Dolidze. Curtis and Imavov have a history, as they fought at UFC 289 in a fight that ended in a No Contest after an inadvertent headbutt.

Chris Curtis and Nassourdine Imavov’s heated interaction

Nassourdine Imavov used his speed and crips technique to full effect against Roman Dolidze at UFC Vegas 85, as he won via majority decision. Imavov even rocked and dropped Dolidze in the first round but Dolidze hung on much to the surprise of Imavov, who felt referee Herb Dean should’ve stopped the fight.

That was not the only controversy of the bout, as Imavov landed an illegal kick on Dolidze, who was a grounded opponent in the fourth round. Chris Curtis, who was in the corner of Dolidze, was furious at it as he traded verbal jabs with Imavov, who even went to confront Curtis but Herb Dean stepped in and calmed the French Dagestani fighter down.

Imavov and Curtis flipped each other after the end of the fight and Curtis even went to tweet about Imavov. “4 eye pokes, 2 head butts, and kicking a downed opponent. What a time to be alive…”, Curtis tweeted with a subtle allegation against Imavov, who had words to say about Curtis at the post-fight press conference.

“This is not his job as a cornerman to talk to fighters. When I went to the cage with him, he was very silent. He quit,” Imavov said of Curtis. Nonetheless, Imavov does not want to rematch Curtis in the ring but has called out Sean Strickland who has a win over him.

Nassourdine Imavov hits Roman Dolidze with illegal move

Nassourdine Imavov was cruising past Roman Dolidze at UFC Vegas 85 but he landed an illegal kick on Dolidze, who was a grounded opponent in round 4. As per the unified rules of MMA, a fighter is not allowed to kick a grounded opponent. However, the definition of a grounded opponent is different in different states of the U.S.A.

UFC Vegas 85 was held in the state of Nevada, whose athletic commission states that the hand of the fighter should be weight-bearing to be considered a grounded opponent. However, Dolidze only had his fingers on the ground, which does not make him a grounded opponent.

A similar incident happened at the Noche UFC in the main event fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso. Grasso kneed Shevchenko’s head multiple times, even though Shevchenko had the fingers of both hands on the ground. At that fight, the knees were termed legal, contradictory to UFC Vegas 85.

Nonetheless, Nassourdine Imavov was deducted a point by referee Herb Dean, who made his victory via majority decision instead of a unanimous decision. It also needs to be noted that only one of the three judges gave Imavov a 10-8 in round 1, even though he came close to finishing Dolidze.

Do you think Nassourdine Imavov’s head kick at round 4 of UFC Vegas 85 was illegal? Leave your thoughts below!


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