UFC 154 fight card primer: Ivan Menjivar vs. Azamat Gashimov

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Bloody Elbow team gives you a brief preview of all the night's action from UFC 154 in Montreal, Quebec, including this bantamweight battle between Ivan Menjivar and Azamat Gashimov.

There's only one bantamweight fight on the UFC 154 card in Montreal, and it features Ivan Menjivar (24-9 MMA, 3-2 UFC) against Russian newcomer Azamat Gashimov (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Menjivar just had his three-fight winning streak snapped, while Gashimov enters the UFC on a two-fight winning run.

Menjivar is a veteran with experience fighting the best of the best as high as 170 lbs, and he'll hold the experience advantage over the young Gashimov. You can see this fight plus the other three bouts on Facebook at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT, and then continue your prelim viewing live on FX at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Menjivar: 30 years old | 5'6" | 64" reach
Gashimov: 22 years old | 5'10" | Unknown reach

What have these two done recently?

Menjivar: L - Mike Easton (UD) | W - John Albert (SUB) | W - Nick Pace (UD)
Gashimov: W - Azay Mamedov (SUB) | W - Alexandr Ionov (KO) | L - Alexander Keshtov (KO)

How did these two get here?

Can anyone guess who Georges St. Pierre's first professional opponent was? That would be Ivan Menjivar way back in 2002, and it remains the only KO/TKO loss for the El Salvador native. His first stint in the UFC was short-lived, losing a decision to Matt Serra in 2004. Menjivar retired from MMA in 2006, but came back in 2010 and has won 4 of his last 6. Having competed at welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight, Menjivar went down to bantamweight and fought Brad Pickett to a decision loss at the final WEC show. Menjivar won 3 in a row when he joined the UFC, but lost to Mike Easton by unanimous decision.

Gashimov is an intriguing prospect out of Russia who has finished all but one of his victories. He's fought exclusively in Russia and Ukraine, but he now trains and fights in the United States. Based on footage of him in grappling tournaments as well as his pro fights, he has a wicked armbar and has shown strong, powerful takedowns. Gashimov tried to make his UFC debut in May, but he was removed from his fight against Alex Soto. He's had a 16 month layoff, so we'll see how that affects his performance as he makes his UFC debut.

Why should you care?

Classic case of matching up the veteran with the prospect. Any young prospect is worth at least a first-time watch, especially with every fight available to broadcast.

More UFC 154 preview content from Bloody Elbow:

Video: UFC 154 weigh-ins

Video: Countdown to UFC 154

UFC 154: GSP vs. Condit fight card

UFC 154 staff picks and predictions - Tim Burke

Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann Dissection - Dallas Winston

Tom Lawlor vs. Francis Carmont Dissection - Dallas Winston

Nick Ring vs. Costa Philippou Dissection - Dallas Winston

Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza Dissection - Dallas Winston

FX Prelims Card Dissections - Dallas Winston

Facebook Prelims Card Dissections - Dallas Winston

Bloody Elbow Radio: UFC 154 preview - Matt Bishop

Jack Slack's Cheat Sheet: Carlos Condit

UFC 154 betting lines - Tim Burke

Should GSP have had a tune up fight before Condit? - Brent Brookhouse

5 reasons I'm pumped for UFC 154 besides GSP - Nate Wilcox

GSP training traditional Muay Thai before UFC 154 - Fraser Coffeen

Video: UFC 154 pre-fight press conference

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