Jared Cannonier trashes ‘gut-wrenching’ stoppage at UFC on ESPN 57, calls for Nassourdine Imavov rematch in Paris

Jared Cannonier is not happy with referee Jason Herzog’s stoppage in his UFC on ESPN 57 main event loss to Nassourdine Imavov.

Cannonier (17-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC) suffered a fourth-round TKO loss to Imavov (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) – but many have questioned its validity, given the nature of the stoppage. Cannonier was still standing, had his hands up, and at times was even swinging back at Imavov. Yet, Herzog decided to stop the fight in the fourth round of the contest.

Cannonier, who was up on two of the three judges’ scorecards, thinks he was robbed from a win.

“When it happened, it was gut-wrenching, to say the least,” said on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani. “It definitely took some time to collect myself and watch the fight and really re-live the whole thing again. It was really gut-wrenching. It feels like the opportunity to do great things was pretty much stolen from me at that moment.

“It doesn’t feel like I lost the fight, it feels like it was taken from me. The opportunity to persevere, which is something I’ve done in my fights, and continue on and try to make good on the fight. Gut-wrenching is an understatement.”

UFC on ESPN 57 marked Cannonier’s first fight in a year after being sidelines with a knee injury. Although coming off a layoff, Cannonier had two consecutive wins, defeating top contender Marvin Vettori and former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland.

Cannonier, 40, hopes the UFC does him right by re-booking the fight. He wants to take on Imavov in his home country in the UFC’s expected return to France in September.

“I want to petition for a rematch,” Cannonier said. “The UFC is going to Paris in September, and I would love to go to Nassourdine’s backyard and make that right. He’ll have that home field advantage. There won’t be people chanting, ‘U.S.A., U.S.A.’ … That’s what I would like to make that right. That’s something that I want – a rematch in Paris. He came over here, so I’d be happy to go over there.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie