During his decision victory in the main event of UFC Fight Night 235 last night Nassourdine Imavov landed an illegal kick to the head of Roman Dolidze while his hand was on the mat, which forced a timeout and led to some fiery scenes both inside and outside of the Octagon.
Dolidze’s cornerman happened to be Chris Curtis, the man who was left unable to continue after an accidental clash of heads with Imavov back in June of last year, leading to a no-contest decision, and he appeared to be fuming at his rival’s illegal kick.
That led to a heated verbal exchange between Imavov and Curtis, that thankfully was prevented from turning physical due to the fact that they were separated by the Octagon fence.
However, referee Herb Dean still had a hard time getting an irate Imavov to calm down afterwards, even going as far as to threaten to disqualify him before the fighter finally relented.
“I try to be as focused as I can,” Imavov said of the incident at the post-fight press conference. “I try to stay focused on the cage, to stay calm, but sometimes my wild side can happen a little bit.”
“I was upset because the guy, Chris Curtis, kept talking in every fight he’s cornering,” Imavov continued. “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.”
However, Imavov did pay respects to his opponent Dolidze for fighting on after the illegal head kick, even though he could have said he couldn’t continue and in doing so avoid having a loss on his record.
“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.”
And while there will surely now be interest in a rematch between him and Curtis due to the clear bad blood between them, Imavov appears to be unenthused by the idea unless it happens behind closed doors.
“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.”