UFC on ESPN 57 results: Nassourdine Imavov wobbles Jared Cannonier, gets questionable referee stoppage


The biggest win of Nassourdine Imavov’s UFC career thus far was perhaps tainted by a questionable referee stoppage after hurting Jared Cannonier.

The middleweight main event of UFC on ESPN 57 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., was filled with heavy technical striking exchanges. That is, until Imavov (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) rocked Cannonier (17-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC), leading to a controversial referee stoppage at 1:34 of Round 4.

With roaring chants of “U-S-A” echoing, Cannonier started the action with crisp punches. Imavov responded, countering nicely to keep Cannonier honest with his offense. After a short sequence on the mat after a Cannonier takedown, the middleweights returned to trading heavy shots in the center of the cage.

Cannonier kept the tempo high in Round 2, which was matched well by Imavov. Striking exchanges led to brief clinch work sequences along the fence initiated by Cannonier. After separating, Imavov began to turn up offensive pressure, landing beautifully late in the round.

Early in the third, Imavov changed things up with clinch work of his own, but Cannonier patiently worked his way free and looked for a takedown of his own. The fight remained standing, and tight exchanges continued until the horn.

Imavov found the mark with early combinations as Cannonier circled outside. Suddenly, Imavov cracked Cannonier with a vicious right hook, sending Cannonier wobbling.

Cannonier kept his guard up as he stumbled about the cage while Imavov was on the hunt with follow-up strikes. Cannonier did his best to keep his hands up while avoiding damage. Referee Jason Herzog decided to step in and stop the fight, which was met with immediate protest from Cannonier, and boos from the crowd.

As a result of the stoppage, Imavov secures his third UFC stoppage and back-to-back wins following a majority decision over Roman Dolidze in February.

During his post-fight interview, Imavov said he was ready to keep fighting had the referee not stepped in but knew he would find the finish sooner or later.

“My goal is to get the belt, for me, my family, everyone around me,” Imavov said through an interpreter. “I’d like to fight Sean Strickland in Paris. So Sean Strickland, if you want to do it, come to Paris and we’re going to fight together.”

Cannonier’s attempt to stretch his winning streak to three was denied. After defeating former champion Sean Strickland and Marvin Vettori, “Killa Gorilla” was on the hunt for another shot at the middleweight title, but now finds himself further from that goal.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 57 results include:

  • Nassourdine Imavov def. Jared Cannonier via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 1:34

  • Dominick Reyes def. Dustin Jacoby via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:00

  • Raul Rosas Jr. def. Ricky Turcios via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:22

  • Brunno Ferreira def. Dustin Stoltzfus via TKO (spinning back elbow) – Round 1, 4:51

  • Zach Reese def. Julian Marquez via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:20

  • Puna Soriano def. Miguel Baeza via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)

  • Ludovit Klein def. Thiago Moises via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Carlos Prates def. Charlie Radtke via knockout (body shot) – Round 1, 4:47

  • Brad Katona def. Jesse Butler via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Montana De La Rosa def. Andrea Lee via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Daniel Marcos def. John Castaneda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Denise Gomes def. Eduarda Moura via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)

  • Taylor Lapilus def. Cody Stamann via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Puja Tomar def. Rayanne Amanda via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 57.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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