Prediction & Odds by NJ bookies: Phil Hawes (-135) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (+115).
One of several fights on Saturday’s card that looks destined to not reach the final bell, Phil Hawes faces Nassourdine Imavov seeking his sixth finish in as many outings, all of which ended in the first round.
‘Megatron’ is the -135 moneyline favorite at William Hill following his hot streak, and Hawes described just how confident he’s feeling ahead of his second appearance under the UFC banner:
"I'm feeling like no one in this world can touch me." – @PhillipHawes5 talks about his upcoming bout with Nassourdine Imavov, where his confidence comes from and more 🔊⬆️— UFC News (@UFCNews) January 13, 2021
Watch Hawes on the #UFCFightIsland7 prelims on ESPN+ at 12pm/9am ETPT#InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/C26Pd836IC
His no-holds-barred approach comes with its downside, however, as Hawes suffered defeats in each of his past two fights that went into the second round. Imavov boasts better balance in that regard, collecting two decision wins to go alongside his four first-round finishes across his last six bouts.
The ‘Russian Sniper’ (who fights out of Marseille, France) is at a slight disadvantage in reach, but his 6’3” frame should come into good use if he looks to add to his four career submissions so far.
Excitement is surrounding favorite Hawes following recent performances, but it’s the European underdog, Imavov, whose broader skill base puts him in great stead for an upset.
Prediction: Imavov via submission (+550)