This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 47, top middleweight contenders went toe-to-toe. Sean Strickland (25-3) was looking to continue his impressive unbeaten streak at 185 pounds as he took on “The Joker” Jack Hermansson (22-7).
For Hermansson, the game plan was clear at UFC Vegas 47. He needed to get the fight to the ground. Hermansson is not going to win a striking battle with many of the top guys in the division. While serviceable on the feet, his bread and butter is on the mat.
When the fight started out, Hermansson actually looked pretty good on the feet. He was landing solid low kicks and had good pressure. I gave Hermansson the first round. However, it was tough to give him another round after that point.
Strickland was able to keep the fight standing and Hermansson was never able to get a ton of momentum. While he had his moments at UFC Vegas 47, the story of the fight was the lack of takedowns and as a result, Hermansson lost a decision.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 47?
Just a few years ago, it looked like Hermansson was on his way towards a UFC title shot. The Joker had a winning streak going and the promotion gave him a headliner in his homeland of Sweden which is usually the treatment you get if the promotion is banking on you.
Alexander Gustafsson got this same treatment when he headlined against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson years ago in Sweden. However, like Gustufsson, Hermansson was finished in his homecoming and hasn’t been able to right the ship completely since.
After losing to Jared Cannonier in Sweden, Hermansson is 2-2 in his last four. He had a solid submission win over Kelvin Gastelum during the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island, however, he’s then lost two headliners against Marvin Vettori and Sean Strickland.
It’s clear that Hermansson needs to tighten up the striking if he wants to be a threat for UFC gold. After this latest loss, who should be next? Well, I think the UFC should pair him up with Darren Till (18-4-1). They tried to make this fight a couple of times and it fell through.
Both men are in similar spots and they need wins to get clarity on where they stand. It’s the perfect matchup and one I think the promotion might lean towards making.