Referee negligence mars what should have been clean KO from Cannonier at UFC Zagreb

Jared Cannonier scored the first win of his UFC career against the debuting Cyril Asker, Sunday in Zagreb. Sadly, he ended up having to deliver lots more punishment than was necessary on account of a negligent referee. 

The record books will say that the end came at 2:44 of the first round, but it actually happened seconds and at least five big strikes earlier. Cannonier charged in, faking a right punch which drawed out the guard from Asker and then connected, flush, with a left hook.

As you can see in the video above, Asker was clearly out on contact from the punch. His hands dropped, he went limp and he fell straight backwards onto the mat and against the cage, limp. 

Because he was out of it and unmoving, Cannonier didn’t charge in to attack more, assuming the referee would recognize the obvious and call the fight. The official did not stop the fight, requiring Cannonier to follow Asker to the mat, where he delivered one punch and four straight hard elbows to the unconscious face of his opponent.

Finally, the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. There is no telling what amount of extra damage Asker may have sustained as a result of his taking more, big strikes to the head while he lay defenseless.

The loss snapped a five-fight win streak of Asker’s and dips his record to 7-2. Cannonier’s win improves his mark to 8-1, overall.

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