Jack Hermansson wants to fight UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in his next fight

UFC Fight Night Jacare v Hermansson
UFC Fight Night Jacare v Hermansson
Gabriel Colman

Jack Hermansson reckons he will be ready for UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya if he displays a convincing performance against Martin Vettori in this weekend's main event in UFC Vegas 16.

The Swedish-Norwegian fighter, currently fourth-ranked in the UFC middleweight division, wants to finish his bout before the first round is over to make a statement. When asked if he believes a victory over Vettori would be enough for the title shot, Hermansson didn't hesitate.

"Yeah, I believe it is. I reckon I am number four at the moment, and Izzy [Israel Adesanya] already fought [Paulo] Costa, [Robert] Whittaker," Hermansson evaluated. "I think me against Izzy is going to be an exciting fight. I think I have a particular set of skills that fits well and will make for an exciting fight with the champ."

'The Joker' Hermansson is probably the only fighter in the UFC middleweight category right now who thinks it would be advantageous if Adesanya completes his move up to fight for the UFC light heavyweight belt. While most contenders don't want to wait for the opportunity of fighting Adesanya to take longer than expected, Hermansson sees a chance to defeat a UFC double-champion.

"If he will fight Jan [Blachowicz] in the first half of next year, then he will defend his middleweight belt at the end of next year, that will be all right," Hermansson explained during the UFC Vegas 16 media day. "Especially if he wins, he becomes the undefeated double-champ. I would like to fight a guy like that. I'm hoping he can pull it off, and he will be able to fight in middleweight next year."

Jack Hermansson puts Marvin Vettori's evolution since joining the UFC in doubt

The UFC initially planned for Jack Hermansson to face Darren Till. However, the bout with the former UFC welterweight title contender had to be called off after Till picked up an injury. Hermansson was then lined up with Kevin Holland, who tested positive for COVID-19 a week before their fight.

The promotion decided it was time to give 'The Italian Dream' Marvin Vettori another shot versus a UFC middleweight top-ranked opponent. Vettori's last bout with a high profile fighter was in 2018 when he lost via split decision to Israel Adesanya. But that was only the second UFC fight for the current middleweight champion.

Both Vettori and Hermansson joined the UFC in 2016 after competing at the European promotion Venator Fighting Championship. But Hermansson doesn't think Vettori has made any substantial developments since leaving their old employers.

"Marvin isn't too unpredictable. You kind of can see some patterns in his fights. He is a pressure fighter. I believe I know what he brings to the table," 'The Joker' said. "He looks kind of the same [since leaving Venator FC]. He is a physical fighter. An okay wrestler, okay grappler, okay striker. He doesn't stand out in any parts of the game, but he is very durable and hard to finish."

Edited by James McGlade


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