Nassourdine Imavov Supports Jason Herzog’s Stoppage in UFC Louisville Headliner

UFC
June 10, 2024
According to Nassourdine Imavov, it was only going to get worse for Jared Cannonier.

The French middleweight earned the most significant victory of his career to date in the UFC on ESPN 57 main event, as he defeated Cannonier via fourth-round technical knockout on Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Imavov put his opponent on skates with a clean right hand, but Cannonier appeared to be regaining his bearings when referee Jason Herzog stepped in to wave off the fight at the 1:34 mark of Round 4.

While Herzog was heavily criticized in the aftermath, Imavov believes the veteran official made the right call.

“It’s the job of the referee to decide if the fighter is able to keep going or not,” Imavov said at the post-fight press conference. “He took a lot of damage, and he would’ve taken even more if the fight would’ve continued, so I think it was the right decision to stop it.”

It was a slow burn for Imavov leading up to the finishing sequence. Cannonier started well in the opening stanza, but the MMA Factory representative appeared to get stronger as the fight progressed. That was all part of the plan for Imavov, who was competing in his third main event on Saturday.

“It was not the game plan to start too fast. I do a lot of five round [fights] now,” he said. It’s not the same pace. In my opinion, I only lost the first round.”

While Imavov would have liked to put Cannonier away sooner, it can take some time to finish opposition at the highest level of the sport.

“It was exactly what I was looking for. I was looking for a finish,” Imavov said. “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.”

After his latest triumph, Imavov called out Sean Strickland, a request he reiterated during the post-fight press conference. Imavov lost a unanimous decision to Strickland in a short-notice light heavyweight contest at UFC Fight Night 217 in January 2023. Regardless of what the future holds, Imavov, who is 29, believes the best is still yet to come.

“What I know is I’m 28, I just did a dominating performance against one of the top [fighters] in the division, and I’m not even at my best. I can even progress more,” he said. “I’m already good enough to get the title, to get the belt. But the farther it’s going to be, the better I’m going to be.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Nassourdine-Imavov-Supports-Jason-Herzogs-Stoppage-in-UFC-Louisville-Headliner-193972

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