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UFC Fight Night results, highlights: Nassourdine Imavov scores controversial stoppage against Jared Cannonier

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Nassourdine Imavov scored the biggest win of his career but not without controversy. Imavov’s fourth-round technical knockout of Jared Cannonier won’t sit well with some due to a perceived early stoppage at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.

Imavov handed Cannonier his first stoppage loss in 10 middleweight fights. It’s an impressive feat but one that will be downplayed due to the nature of the finish. Imavov caught Cannonier coming in with a hard one-two that rocked “The Killa Gorilla” in Round 4. Imavov swarmed as Cannonier covered up and ran from the French fighter. Imavov landed multiple straight rights, left hooks and knees during the 20-second blitz. Referee Jason Herzog’s intervention ended the fight to the frustration of some. Cannonier was clearly in trouble and only managed to throw one strike during the exchange; however, he attempted to defend himself.

“I was ready to continue the fight if the fight was willing to continue. That’s the referee’s job, it’s what the referee does on a daily basis,” Imavov said through an interpreter during his post-fight interview. “So I think he made the right decision but I was ready to keep going.”

It was a competitive fight before the finish. Imavov is undefeated in three consecutive fights and will likely jump from No. 7 to No. 4 in the UFC’s official middleweight rankings. The loss snapped a two-fight run for Cannonier including a middleweight record-setting strike total against Marvin Vettori and a win against Sean Strickland before Strickland’s brief ascension to UFC champion.

“My goal is to get the belt and I’d like to fight Sean Strickland in Paris,” Imavov said, looking to avenge a short-notice loss to Strickland in 2023. “So Sean Strickland, if you want to do it, come to Paris and we’re going to fight.”

Imavov looks to return at UFC Fight Night in his hometown of Paris on Sept. 28.

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