The UFC has finalized a big time matchup between top ten middleweight contenders. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion had finalized a matchup between Sean Strickland (24-3) and Jack Hermansson (22-6).
The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on February 5th. When these two meet, Hermansson will be looking to pick up his second straight win inside the octagon.
It seems like just yesterday that we were talking about Jack Hermansson being a potential title challenger. However, The Joker has fallen on tougher times as of late.
Halfway through 2019, Hermansson had won four in a row and the UFC gave him a main event on his home soil. However, Jared Cannonier was able to stop Hermansson.
Starting with that fight, Hermansson is just 2-2 in his last four. That said, he did look good in his last fight against Edmen Shahbazyan where he picked up a unanimous decision win.
Will Strickland enter UFC title contention?
This main event on February fifth will be the second straight main event for Sean Strickland. This is a massive opportunity for him to solidify himself as a title contender in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Since returning in 2020, Strickland has been on a tear. In just over a year, Strickland has gone 4-0 in the UFC and those four wins caused the promotion to book him against former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
However, Rockhold had to pull out of their fight with back issues. The UFC has been working on another fight for Strickland for a while and finally settled on an opponent.
Strickland’s grappling is really going to be tested when these two meet in February. However, if he’s able to pass this test, you can start mentioning him in the title picture which nobody would have predicted just over a year ago.