UFC Louisville Predictions: Cannonier vs. Imavov & More

UFC Fight Night Louisville is set to take place inside the KFC Yum! Center this Saturday, with elite skilled middleweights no. 4 ranked Jared Cannonier and no. 7 ranked Nassourdine Imavov headlining the night in a five-round fight.

Cannonier is looking to cement his title shot worthiness with an impressive win over the 29-year-old French rising star Imavov. As for Imavov, he goes into Saturday night looking to make it two wins in a row after coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over fellow ranked middleweight Roman Dolidze back in February in a five-rounder.

UFC Louisville’s Main Event: Jared Cannonier vs. Nassourdine Imavov

Former title challenger and current no. 4 ranked middleweight Jared Cannonier (17-6-0) steps inside the octagon against the rising French prospect and no. 7 ranked middleweight Nassourdine Imavov (13-4-0, 1 NC) in what should be a scrappy five-round fight with title-eliminator potential.

Prediction: Cannonier, a former UFC title challenger and the current no. 4 ranked middleweight, enters this matchup as a seasoned and experienced mixed martial artist. His impressive resume, built over his UFC career since 2015, includes consecutive wins over former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland and no. 5 ranked middleweight Marvin Vettori, instilling confidence in his capabilities.

Jared Cannonier faces Nassourdine Imavov in the main event of UFC Fight Night Louisville.
Photo via UFC

Imavov, a 29-year-old Frenchman, brings a youthful energy to the octagon, contrasting with the 40-year-old veteran Cannonier. The physical differences in height and wingspan add another layer of intrigue to this fight. Imavov, standing at 6-foot-2, and Cannonier, at 5-foot-11, present a unique dynamic, with Cannonier’s 2-and-a-half-inch reach advantage with an impressive reach of 77.5 inches.

With all the physical elements taken into account, I see this fight staying on the feet for the majority of the duration as both men are naturally strikers. Cannonier is the harder puncher and tends to switch stances during his fights, whereas Imavov is an orthodox kickboxer who will look to pepper Cannonier.

I see Cannonier starting the fight out of a southpaw stance and successfully establishing his presence in the middle of the cage, popping his jab and looking to implement a heavy leg-kick gameplan to hinder Imavov’s circling movement over five grueling rounds. In other words, I predict a Cannonier victory via decision.

Dominick Reyes vs. Dustin Jacoby

No. 15 ranked light heavyweight and former title challenger Dominick Reyes (12-4-0) looks to defend his ranking as he makes his long awaited return to the UFC cage since November 2022, this time against former GLORY kickboxer Dustin Jacoby in a three-round co-main event slot.

Reyes has spoken to media members this week, where he talked about wanting to make a run back to the top of the light heavweight division. He went on mentioning how he has worked with a lot of UFC heavyweight wrestlers for this particular fight camp. Fighters like Curtis Blaydes and Jared Vanderaa to name a few. Here on the official ‘MMA Junkie’ YouTube channel.

Photo via Zac Pacleb/UFC

Prediction: This co-main event matchup should be very closely contested as both men are around the same size and reach. Reyes holds the athletic advantage, but I think Jacoby is the cleaner striker. Both men present moderate takedown threats, but I see Reyes looking to engage in the grappling exchanges more than the striking.

I believe Reyes will implement takedowns based on his last three fights where he has been on the receiving end of vicious knockout blows on the feet. As for Jacoby, his striking skills will be crucial in this fight. It will be in his best interest to keep this fight standing and prioritize kicking Reyes’ lead leg out of southpaw stance.

That said, I foresee Reyes scoring timely takedowns that help edge out close rounds on the feet, leading to a decision victory.

Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Ricky Turcios

Unranked middleweights cross paths as the youngest fighter on the UFC’s roster 19-year-old Raul Rosas Jr. (8-1-0) faces ‘The Ultimate Fighter 29: Volkanovski vs. Ortega’ bantamweight winner Ricky Turcios (13-3-0) in what should be a fight filled with entertaining grappling exchanges and scrambles.

Photo via Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Looking at this fun bantamweight matchup, Rosas Jr. has the physical advantages in terms of strength and explosiveness. Turcios is an unorthodox fighter who throws a lot of different strikes, but I don’t think he sits down on his punches enough to truly threaten Rosas Jr. on the feet.

My analysis suggests that Rosas Jr. could exploit Turcios’ tendency to fight from his back by securing takedowns. In such a scenario, a strong wrestler like Rosas Jr. is often favored, as they can use their top game and pressure to neutralize any potential submission threats from their opponent.

After careful consideration, I predict Rosas Jr. will emerge victorious via decision.

Bruno Ferreira vs. Dustin Stoltzfus

Unranked middleweights meet as the stocky, hard-hitting Brazilian middleweight Bruno Ferreira (11-1-0) takes on American-born German former kickboxer Dustin Stoltzfus (15-5-0) in what makes for an explosive three-round fight.

Despite being the shorter fighter, Ferreira’s explosive power in his hands compensates for his physical disadvantages. On the other hand, Stoltzfus brings a wealth of experience, having tested his skills against formidable opponents over his four-year stint in the UFC.

Ferreira prioritizes using his hands in the standup, whereas Stoltzfus is more open to utilizing leg kicks. I predict Ferreira will be able to find a devastating knockout punch on Stoltzfus within the first or second round.

Julian Marquez vs. Zach Reese

In what promises to be a highly competitive bout, unranked middleweight Julian Marquez (9-4-0) squares off against the younger Zach Reese (6-1-0) in the second fight of the main card.

Marquez comes into this three-round bout at a fair disadvantage in size and reach, with Reese holding a five-inch reach advantage. Marquez tends to keep fights on the feet, but I see him looking to implement takedowns on Reese.

I predict Marquez can weather the storm of Reese’s striking early on and bulldoze through for needed takedowns. With that said, I see Marques winning via decision.

Miguel Baeza vs. Punahele Soriano

The main card kicks off with a high-stakes battle between unranked welterweights, as the tenacious Miguel Baeza (10-3-0) and the gritty Punahele Soriano (9-4-0) step into the UFC cage.

Baeza comes into this matchup with a length advantage over Soriano. However, Soriano may be able to neutralize it with takedowns. I see Baeza coming out as the sharper, faster man on the feet, which will lead to Soriano shooting for takedowns.

I rate Soriano as a better wrestler than Baeza, but not by a wide enough margin to believe in his ability to get ahold of and control him on the ground or up against the cage. I see Baeza forcing Soriano to shoot for takedowns, which will be denied and lead to Soriano getting tired and eventually getting stopped by the second or third round. I predict Baeza will win via knockout.

Prelim Predictions:

  • (155 lbs.) Thiago Moises (18-7-0) vs. Ludvit Klein (21-4-1): Moises via Decision
  • (170 lbs.) Charles Radtke (9-3-0) vs. Carlos Prates (18-6-0): Prates via KO
  • (135 lbs.) Brad Katona (15-3-0) vs. Jesse Butler (12-5-0): Katona via Decision
  • (W 125 lbs.) Andrea Lee (13-9-0) vs. Montana De La Rosa (12-9-1): Lee via Decision
  • (135 lbs.) John Castaneda (21-6-0) vs. Daniel Marcos (15-0-0, 1 NC): Castaneda via Submission
  • (W 115 lbs.) Eduarda Moura (10-0-0) vs. Denise Gomes (8-3-0): Moura via Decision
  • (135 lbs.) Cody Stamann (21-6-1) vs. Taylor Lapilus (19-4-0): Lapilus via Decision
  • (W 115 lbs.) Rayanne dos Santos vs. Puja Tomar (8-4-0): dos Santos via Decision

Stay tuned for more UFC news and updates via RespectMyRegion.com

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