Nassourdine Imavov reacts to controversial stoppage at UFC Louisville

Nassourdine Imavov is asked about his questionable stoppage win over Jared Cannonier.
Nassourdine Imavov
Nassourdine Imavov / Timothy D. Easley/Special to the

On Saturday night in Louisville, Kentucky, the main event ended in a controversial stoppage by referee Jason Herzog. The end came in the fourth round of their fight after Jared Cannonier appeared to be out on his feet after a series of strikes from Nassourdine Imavov. But Herzog didn't stop the fight there, instead he waited until it appeared that Cannonier had recovered and was back to fighting condition. Cannonier immediately protested the stoppage and the crowd in Louisville erupted into boos. Even the UFC commentary team seemed perplexed by the stoppage.

After the fight he was asked about the stoppage and if he saw any issues with the timing of it. “Absolutely not,” Imavov said through a translator. “It’s the job of the referee to decide if a fighter is able to keep going or not. He took already a lot of damage. He would have taken even more if they fight continued. So I think it was the right decision to stop it.”

Nassourdine Imavov says stoppage was 'absolutely not' not controversial

Imavov also spoke about the game plan and finishing the fight in the fourth round, rather than in the earlier rounds. “It’s perfect. It was exactly what I was looking for. I was looking for a finish. I would be lying if I would say that an early stoppage wouldn’t [have been] better, but the thing is, it takes some time to finish someone. What I’m happy with is a lot of people critiqued my cardio, and in this fight I proved that my cardio is very good, finishing him in the fourth round.”

Heading into the fourth round the scores were split and the judge's terrible decisions were the talk of the event which heightened the displeasure of the stoppage.

Cannonier hasn't commented publicly about the stoppage yet but he has been sharing several posts of media and fans complaining about the stoppage.


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