Jon Anik: Jared Cannonier would've been knocked out had Jason Herzog not intervened at UFC on ESPN 57


Jon Anik thinks referee Jason Herzog saved Jared Cannonier from taking unnecessary extra damage at UFC on ESPN 57.

Nassourdine Imavov (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) scored a fourth-round TKO of Cannonier (17-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. – a controversial stoppage which infuriated Cannonier.

Imavov had Cannonier on skates when he tagged him with a right hook. Imavov sprinted after Cannonier, who eventually tried to swing back while backed up against the cage. However, with Cannonier off balance and stumbling across the octagon, Herzog saw enough and waved the fight off at the 1:34 mark of Round 4.

While Anik agrees that the stoppage was premature, he thinks Cannonier was en route to getting put out.

“If you were to ask me, ‘Do you believe in 20 seconds that Jared Cannonier would’ve been knocked out cold or concussed further?,’ the answer would be yes,” Anik said on his Anik & Florian podcast. “I believe referees are universally praised when they allow a fight to go long, and then something sensational happens. Either we get a 25-minute war because they didn’t stop the fight, or you get a knockout that has some virality.

“I was a little bit surprised to see Jason Herzog intervene here, but referees are always going to be criticized when they stop fights early on the front end of the potentially concussive damage. … Jason, if any referee deserves the benefit of the doubt, it is him. If you’re asking me, do I think the stoppage was premature, I do, but I think the result would’ve been a concussion for Jared Cannonier, who had been drunk driving 30 seconds previously, and I just feel like he would’ve been knocked out.”

Herzog acknowledged the criticism, and indicated he planned to reassess the fight-ending sequence.

“I get it. I know what I was seeing in the moment, but I’ve gotten enough feedback telling me I need to reevaluate, so I will,” Herzog wrote on X after the fight.


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