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FSM Essential Preview: UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov

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Controversially, Nassourdine Imavov secured a dominant victory on a chaotic fight night.

 

UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Timothy D. Easley/The Courier-Journal

Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night in Louisville, Kentucky, was reminiscent of Game of Thrones.

Like the early seasons, the prelims started slow and had little action. Then, like the later seasons, the main card has all the action scenes on display, with moments like Brunno Ferreira landing the eighth spinning elbow knockout in UFC history and Dominick Reyes ending his four-fight losing streak in a first-round knockout. It just kept improving, and with the main event coming up.

Expectations couldn’t been higher. But, like the eighth season, the main event left a bad taste in the fans’ mouths. Nassourdine Imavov (14-4) defeated Jared Cannonier (17-7) in a dominant but controversial fashion. 

 

Main Event – Jared Cannonier vs. Nassourdine Imavov

 

UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Starting in the first round, both fighters put a quick pace on display. As the crowd chanted “U.S.A.” for Cannonier, he rode that hype to pressure Imavov and take control of the fight. It especially got loud when he threw Imavov to the ground like a ragdoll. Once Imavov returned to his feet and threw a punch, UFC referee Jason Herzog paused the fight to warn Imavov about his fingers being out.

Once done, he resumed the fight, but this wouldn’t be the last time we hear from Herzog. As the fight continued, Cannonier was still in the driver’s seat. His only struggle was when Imavov knocked him down, putting Cannonier in a vulnerable position, but he quickly recovered to his feet. As the round closed, Cannonier pressured Imavov into the cage, ending in a solid first round for Cannonier.

In the second round, Cannonier continued dominating, landing big after big strike. Imavov had his moments, but he struggled to get going. Anytime Imavov landed a few strikes, Cannonier would take him into the cage and pressure him with control time. This happened throughout the majority of the round. But with 1:30 left, Imavov started to land some big hits, which rattled Cannonier. That late surge looked to have given Imavov the round.

 

UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Moving to the third, Imavov found his groove. He was sniping Cannonier all over the place. Imavov took over the round with his striking. He even landed a takedown. He was doing great, but he kept getting slowed down by Cannonier’s pressure. From his cage control, Cannonier was souring the great round Imavov was having.

Though it looked closer than it should, Imavov had a nice round with a promising look heading into the fourth. 

When the fourth round began, Imavov kept landing everything, and a win seemed inevitable for the Frenchman. Eventually, Imavov rallied some big hits on Cannonier that left him wobbling, but he was still defending the onslaught. However, that wasn’t good enough for Jason Herzog, who stopped the fight too early. Cannonier was ticked off with the result because he felt he could’ve kept going. The Louisville crowd booed the result and the veteran referee.

No one was happy with the outcome except Imavov, celebrating the win on top of the cage. After the fight, Imavov gave his thoughts on the controversial call. 

 

“I was ready to continue the fight if the fight was willing to continue,” he said. “The referee, that’s his job, that’s what he does on a daily basis. So I think it was the right decision. But I was ready to keep going if that was the decision.”

UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs Nassourdine Imavov | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Now, looking into the future, it will be difficult for Jared Cannonier to return to the title picture. With multiple big names stacking up the division and turning 40 years old, the doors are closing faster than before. Even with the early stoppage, Cannonier wasn’t surviving the fourth round.

It does not look good for the former title contender.

In his third time headlining a main event, Nassourdine Imavov finished the fight by TKO at 1:34 in the fourth round. After his strong performance tonight, Imavov will move into the top five in the middleweight division with at least one more win to guarantee himself a title shot.

Knowing this, Imavov called out former middleweight champion Sean Strickland to fight him in Paris, France. But with Strickland willing to wait for another title opportunity, it seems unlikely the Imavov will get what he wants. However, with a Paris card happening in September, expect Nassourdine Imavov to return very soon. 

 

Main Card Results:

 

Light Heavyweight: Dominick Reyes vs. Dustin Jacoby, by KO/TKO at 2:00 in R1

Bantamweight: Raul Rosas Jr. def. Ricky Turcios, by Sub. (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:22 in R2

Middleweight: Brunno Ferreira def. Dustin Stoltzfus, by KO/TKO at 4:51 in R1

Middleweight: Zachary Resse def. Julian Marquez, by KO/TKO at:20 in R1

Welterweight: Punahele Soriano def. Miguel Baeza, by unanimous decision

 

Prelims Results:

 

Lightweight: Ludovit Klein def. Thiago Moses, by unanimous decision

Welterweight: Carlos Prates def. Charles Radtke, by KO/TKO at 4:47 in R1

Women’s Flyweight: Montana De La Rosa def. Andrea Lee, by split decision

Bantamweight: Brad Katona def. Jesse Bulter, by unanimous decision

Bantamweight: Daniel Marcos def. John Castaneda, by unanimous decision

Women’s Strawweight: Denise Gomes def. Eduarda Moura, by split decision

Bantamweight: Taylor Lapilus def. Cody Stamann, by unanimous decision

Women’s Strawweight: Puja Tomar def. Rayanne Dos Santos, by split decision

 

Top Moments of the Night:

 

  • Before the first round ended, Carlos Prates landed a rare body shot TKO. Prates threw a flying knee straight to the liver, dropping Charles Radtke to the canvas. Prates walked off before the ref could call the fight, knowing he’d secure the victory. 
  • Zachary Resse secured his first-ever UFC victory. Resse, who has never seen the second round in his career, keeps it that way by knocking out Julian Marquez 20 seconds into the fight, guaranteeing Resse a 50k performance bonus.
  • In a moment similar to old-school UFC fights, Bruno Ferreira vs. Dustin Stoltzfus fought in a competitive and messy fight. Stoltzfus almost closed the fight with a leg lock submission, but Ferreira took control once the fighters returned to their feet. He landed multiple big shots on Stolzfus, including a spinning elbow. Ferreira landed one more spinning elbow, securing the victory. This became the eighth spinning elbow KO/TKO in UFC history.
  • In his tenth pro fight, the young Raul Rosas Jr. secured the win by rear naked choke. After surviving Ricky Turcios’s quick strikes and his rear naked choke, The 19-year-old looked calm, escaping the onslaught with a win in round two. 
  • Finally, in a beautiful moment, Dominick Reyes wins his first fight since 2019. After winning by knockout in the first round, Reyes looked ecstatic with the weight coming off his shoulders. 

 

Tune in next time as Alex Perez will take on the Tatsuro Taira in Las Vegas, Nevada, next Saturday. Prelims begin at 1:00 pm PT, and the main card begins at 4:00 pm PT. Thank you for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Ethan Kugler – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Ethan on all social media: @ethan_kugl50

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