January 14, 2023
When Kelvin Gastelum had to retire UFC Vegas 67 With a missing tooth knocked out during a sparring session, not surprisingly, well-known wild man Sean Strickland stepped in. Strickland is an old-school fighter who doesn’t train by lifting weights or running miles. Instead, he goes to the gym and trains against other fighters. Although he usually fights at middleweight, Strickland will be fighting at light heavyweight this time. Standing in his way is Nassourdine Imavov, who also usually fights at middleweight. There’s a lot to unpack here; Without further ado, let’s get started!
Strickland vs. Imavov
Despite losing each of his last two matches, Sean Strickland is still highly regarded at middleweight. That’s partly because Alex Pereira, who is now the reigning champion, and Jared Cannonier, who is fighting for the title, both suffered defeats. There’s no shame in losing to these men and Strickland, 31, is showing no signs of slowing down. Saturday’s fight will be his first light heavyweight adventure, but if he does well it may not be his last.
Nassourdine Imavov is in the middle of a three-fight win streak. However, he only fought once in 2022. If there are questions about his status in the sport, it is because of his lack of activity. He is only 27 years old; his best days in the octagon are yet to come. If he is to take the plunge and become one of the elite fighters in the organization, he must be determined that 2023 is his year. Be sure to tune in to see Strickland and Imavov putting everything on the line in the middle of the octagon!
Ige versus Jackson
31-year-old Dan Ige has lost four of his last five fights. Prior to this unfortunate series of results, Ige had racked up six straight wins. A dangerous fighter at his best, his black belt is often an advantage in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Due to his unique ability to both punch and grab, he still ranks thirteenth in the division despite not having a recent Signature win. If he does well on Saturday night, it will be a fond memory for the fans who once viewed Ige as a future champion of the division.
Since joining the UFC in September 2020, Damon Jackson has amassed an impressive 5-to-1 record. Two of his wins came by submission and another by knockout. Jackson has repeatedly shown his ability to end a fight early and that looking away from the octagon during his performance could be a costly mistake. You might miss a highlight and be forced to watch it in instant replay. At 34, he’s hungry to become a ranked fighter, knowing his window of opportunity to get a shot at the championship belt is closing. Ige and Jackson are two fighters with a lot to prove and nothing to lose; You won’t want to miss it!
Soriano versus Kopylov
Middleweight prospects Punahele Soriano and Roman Kopylov go into Saturday’s fight with identical records of 9 and 2 respectively. At 30 and 31 respectively, both men are relatively young fighters who only turned pro at relatively late stages of their lives. Now they’re trying to make up for lost time as they enter the final few years of their physical prime. Neither man ranks in the organization’s top 15 middleweight contenders; If you want to become elite, now is the time to prove it. When the two men meet in the octagon, fireworks are guaranteed. Make sure you tune in to catch all the action!
Vieira vs. Pennington
Ketlen Vieira may have the unfortunate reputation of being the UFC’s top fighter not to win a championship. Her last two wins came against future Hall of Famers Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. The Brazilian, who has black belts in both jiu-jitsu and judo, has been a runner-up at bantamweight for quite some time. If she wants to secure a title shot in 2023, she needs to start the year with a win in mid-January The apex center.
Raquel Pennington is in the middle of a four-fight win streak and currently ranks fifth in the bantamweight division. While she doesn’t have the formal training of some of her peers, she is a accomplished veteran of the sport. At just 22, she began competing in regional circuits. Turning 35 later this year, she knows now is the time to become a champion. Vieira vs Pennington is a fight with championship implications. You won’t want to miss it!
Nurmagomedov vs Barcelos
26-year-old bantamweight Umar Nurmagomedov is currently known as the cousin of the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov and younger brother of reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Usman Nurmagomedov. Coming from a famous fighting family could be a motivating factor or a detriment depending on an athlete’s view of the circumstances, but so far Nurmagomedov has lived up to his name. He is currently undefeated in fifteen professional fights and has a clear goal to follow in the footsteps of his legendary family.
At 35, Raoin Barcelos’ best days in the octagon could be behind him. However, he is still considered the litmus test for bantamweight up-and-coming talent. His October victory over Trevin Jones proved that the black belt still has one in Brazilian jiu-jitsu something else in the tank. Although he is currently unranked and may never get a shot at the title, he is a worthy opponent for any young fighter looking to pit his skills and acumen. He will surely push young Nurmagomedov to his limits. Be sure to turn it on!
UFC Vegas 67 can be viewed on BT Sport in the UK and on ESPN Plus in the US. As always, we will provide the latest updates on the results of the fights, as well as detailed analysis, right here at World in Sport!