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As I phrased this fight, it’s an important one. Edmen Shahbazyan is on a tough skid, but at only 23 years old, the future still remains bright. Checking in at #11 in the UFC Middleweight Rankings, Shahbazyan remains in a good position. However, a loss would drop him out of the rankings and possibly back to square one. Shahbazyan is a talented striker. Boasting precision and power, Shahbazyan has recorded three knockdowns and two knockout victories in his four victories. The problem Shahbazyan has had of late is his takedown defense. In Shahbazyan’s last two fights, he has been taken down seven times. Perhaps something that Nassourdine Imavov might target, then again the Russian has only attempted one takedown in his last two fights. Nicknamed the Russian Sniper, Imavov is every bit of that on the feet. He is extremely accurate and excellent at range. 

As for a prediction, I’m going with Imavov. The Russian impressed me in his most recent fight, shrugging off multiple takedown attempts and picking apart Ian Henisch on the feet. While I expect the stand-up exchanges to be tougher in this fight, given how good Shahbazyan is, I really do believe Imavov mixes in some takedowns to neutralize the Golden Boy. The blueprint is out, it’s a matter of whether Shahbazyan has improved or not. So with that said, I predict Imavov to win via decision.

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