LAS VEGAS – Nassourdine Imavov is not a fan of Chris Curtis. The feelings seemingly are strong and mutual.
The UFC Fight Night 235 main event Saturday at the UFC Apex was filled with drama. A foul by Imavov (12-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) against grounded opponent Roman Dolidze (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) upset Curtis (31-10 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who was there to serve as a cornerman. The negative energy continued to spiral.
After Imavov beat Dolidze by majority decision, Curtis was seen giving the middle finger to the rival who just defeated his teammate.
Despite the extracurricular distractions, Imavov got the victory – but he wasn’t happy with it.
“I try to be as focused as I can,” Imavov told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a post-fight news conference. “I try to stay focused on the cage, to stay calm, but sometimes my wild side can happen a little bit. I stayed as focused as I could be focused. I think it’s a lot because of the experience that I got into the cage with the years.”
Imavov and Curtis fought at UFC 289 in June. The bout ended in a no contest due to a clash of heads, but a rivalry started at that same moment.
“I was upset because the guy, Chris Curtis, kept talking in every fight he’s cornering,” Imavov said. “He keeps talking to me. This is not his job as a cornerman to talk to the fight. When I went into the cage against him, it was very silent. He got dominated and he even quit the fight because of the head butt. I just want him to stop talking and let me fight.”
“… Roman is a real warrior. He kept fighting even though he could’ve stopped fighting. I have a lot of respect. Thank you so much, Roman, for that – as opposed to his cornerman, who is a quitter, like Chris Curtis.”
Following his victory, Imavov called out former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland, another teammate of Curtis, during his in-cage interview with Daniel Cormier.
An Imavov vs. Curtis rematch seemed to sell itself to many fans online. Those with their fingers crossed for a grudge match in the immediate future will be let down, however, should Imavov have his way.
“I’m not at all interested by Chris Curtis,” Imavov said. “First of all, he’s so low on the rankings. Second of all, I did a masterclass against him. I just dominated him. He couldn’t do anything in the cage. But if he really wants to keep talking, I can go to his place, his gym, and we can do a real tough sparring session. I’m going to destroy him as I did in the cage.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 235.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie