UFC books Jack Hermansson – Edmen Shahbazyan

UFC 262 is getting a fun one at middleweight for the main card. The LA Times was the first to report today that Jack Hermansson (21-6) will be taking on “The Golden Boy” Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1).

Of course, we learned last night that the card was being headlined by the vacant lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira. Today, we learned that UFC 262 will take place in Houston in front of a crowd at the Toyota Center.

Jack Hermansson had a huge win halfway through the year last year against former title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum. With that win, Hermansson was 5-1 in his last six and appeared just a fight or two away from a UFC title shot.

However, that is when he ran into Marvin Vettori. The two men fought in December and Vettori won a decision in an absolute war. It was a tough defeat for The Joker, but he’s ready to get back into the swing of things. He’s getting one of the UFC‘s brightest young prospects in his next matchup.

Will the UFC hype come back?

There was so much hype in 2020 around Edmen Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan has all of the skills to be a world champion and he’s only 23 years old. In his first big step up in competition, Shahbazyan demolished Brad Tavares.

After that win, the UFC decided to give him a headlining spot against Derek Brunson. Shahbazyan ultimately fell short and it was a humbling moment for the young fighter. Frankly, I’m a little surprised by this booking decision.

Shahbazyan is still incredibly young and the UFC believes he can be a star. Giving him Jack Hermansson off of his first loss is not an easy rebound matchup. In fact, it’s a brutal matchup, but Shahbazyan does have all the skills needed to get the win. Either way, it should be a fantastic matchup on May 15th.

UFC books headliner between Darren Till and Marvin Vettori

The UFC is making moves with their middleweight division. Last night, we learned that the promotion had finalized a bout between Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker that would headline a Fight Night on April 17th. 

Today, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the UFC has finalized another incredible middleweight matchup. On April 10th, Darren Till (18-3-1) and Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) will headline another Fight Night.

This is going to be a massive seven day stretch for the middleweight division. Darren Till last fought back in July when he took on former UFC champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5).

The fight was extremely close, but Whittaker pulled out a decision. Till was originally supposed to headline a card against Jack Hermansson (21-6) in December, however he ended up injured and the promotion moved to Kevin Holland (21-5).

However, Holland ended up testing positive for COVID and he was pulled from that fight. That is when Marvin Vettori stepped into the picture. Vettori had another fight booked, but stepped up for the UFC and took that fight against Hermansson.

UFC’s Middleweight Division

Marvin Vettori looked sensational in December when he fought Hermansson. In his first UFC headliner, Vettori dropped and hurt Hermansson early on. He went on to dominate the fight for all five rounds.

The win was a massive statement and the fourth straight for Vettori. Vettori now finds himself fourth in the UFC’s middleweight rankings one spot behind Darren Till. However, Vettori has expressed frustrations with being ranked behind Till.

Nevertheless, now the two will get a chance to prove who is the better fighter. As mentioned, this is a huge seven day stretch for the middleweight division. Let us not forget that Kevin Holland and Derek Brunson (21-7) are also headlining a Fight Night on March 20th. 

This stretch from March through April has big implications for the middleweight division. Israel Adesanya (20-0) is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight title, however, upon his return to middleweight, there should be a lot of clarity with all these matchups.

State of the middleweight division after UFC Vegas 16

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 16, there was some movement in the middleweight division. Fourth ranked Jack Hermansson (21-6) took on thirteenth ranked, Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) in the main event.

Vettori was the third opponent that was scheduled to face Hermansson, but The Joker was ready no matter who he fought. However, it was evident from the opening bell that he might have bit off more than he could chew.

Vettori was incredibly impressive at UFC Vegas 16. He dropped and nearly finished Hermansson in the first round of their fight. The rest of the fight, outside of the third round, Vettori controlled the action. He seemed to take the third round off for rest.

In his first UFC main event, Vettori shined. After the win over the fourth ranked fighter in the division, you should expect to see Vettori jump into the top five when the rankings come out this week.

In other middleweight news, the fifth ranked middleweight in the UFC, Yoel Romero, was recently cut by the promotion. The four-time title challenger is just one of many big cuts coming from the UFC according to Dana White.

UFC Middleweight Division Outlook

The middleweight division is in an interesting spot right now. There is a clear number one contender and that’s Robert Whittaker. The former UFC middleweight champion has only lost one fight in the last six years.

That fight was to the current UFC champion, Israel Adesanya. A rematch between the two will happen eventually considering Whittaker is 2-0 since the lost and defeated both men Adesanya was interested in fighting.

However, Adesanya is moving up to light heavyweight for his next fight to challenge Jan Blachowicz. We don’t know when Adesanya will return to middleweight, but the UFC champion insists he’ll be back to 185 eventually.

After Whittaker, there are a couple of matchups which could really make an impact on the division. Vettori is likely going to face Derek Brunson or Paulo Costa next. Whoever wins those fights might be right behind Robert Whittaker.

Jack Hermansson is still in the mix, but he needs to bounce back. A potential matchup for him could be the winner of the Chris Weidman – Uriah Hall fight in February. Or he could potentially fight Darren Till. Lots of moving parts, but exciting times in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

What’s next for Jack Hermansson after UFC Vegas 16?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 16, Jack Hermansson (21-6) took on Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) in the main event. Vettori was the third scheduled opponent for Hermansson for the headlining fight.

Originally, Hermansson was set to take on Darren Till. Then he was supposed to face Kevin Holland. However, both of those fights fell through which is how Marvin Vettori got the main event shot against The Joker.

I really thought that Hermansson’s grappling was going to be the difference at UFC Vegas 16. However, I was wrong and underestimated the defensive skills of Marvin Vettori. Hermansson was never able to get Vettori to the ground for any significant portion of time.

The fight remained on the feet for the majority of the time. While Hermansson had moments here and there, the standup was clearly controlled by Marvin Vettori. Vettori even dropped and almost finished Hermansson in the first round.

In the end, the judges gave four of the five rounds to Marvin Vettori. Hermansson suffered his second loss in his last three fights at UFC Vegas 16. With that in mind, what’s next for The Joker after his loss on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 16?

When you take a look at the UFC‘s middleweight rankings, there are a few options for Hermansson. One of the clearest options is taking on the winner of the rematch between Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall.

Those two men are scheduled to fight in February. Weidman and Hall are on the backside of the top ten in the UFC‘s middleweight division. A win for either man would vault them closer to the top five where a guy like Hermansson could be waiting.

Another option for Hermansson could be Darren Till. As mentioned above, Till was originally set to be Hermansson’s opponent before a knee injury derailed the fight. Both men are coming off losses so a fight between the two could make sense.

What’s next for Mavin Vettori after UFC Vegas 16?

Last night at UFC Vegas 16, Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) took on Jack Hermansson (21-6) in the main event. Vettori was originally scheduled to fight next weekend, but after Kevin Holland fell out of the UFC Vegas 16 main event, Vettori stepped in.

Hermansson entered the cage as the fourth ranked middleweight in the UFC. For Vettori, he was competing in his first main event and it was the first time he was fighting someone when they were ranked inside the top five.

To be honest, I underestimated Marvin Vettori in this one. I figured he would have some moments on the feet, but over the course of five rounds, I figured Hermansson’s grappling and preparation for a five round main event would win out.

However, that is not what happened at UFC Vegas 16. Vettori looked incredibly sharp on the feet last night. He dropped Hermansson in round one and nearly finished the fight. In the second round, he continued to tune Hermansson up on the feet.

While he was doing this, he also did a fantastic job of defending takedowns. I got concerned for Vettori when the fight hit the third round. It seemed that Hermansson was taking over the fight and Vettori was fading.

However, it now appears that Vettori was just trying to take a round off. The fight was a war, but Vettori sealed the deal in the final two rounds of UFC Vegas 16 with piston like straight hands. In the end, Vettori walked away with the decision and the biggest win of his UFC career.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 16?

After the fight was over, Vettori stepped to the microphone for his post-fight interview. It wouldn’t be a Vettori interview if 90% wasn’t censored out. However, he still was able to say what he wanted next in the UFC.

Vettori took the opportunity to call out Paulo Costa (13-1) after UFC Vegas 16. To be honest, going into the fight, I figured Costa would be a good fight for whoever won. With Vettori’s performance and call out, I think it makes even more sense now.

We haven’t seen Costa since his failed attempt to capture the middleweight title at UFC 253. Israel Adesanya completely outclassed the Brazilian that night. Despite that performance, Costa is still one of the best in the world.

Stylistically, it makes for a fantastic matchup. Rankings wise, it will also make for a fantastic matchup. When the rankings come out on Tuesday, I would expect to see Vettori in the top five. A matchup with him and Costa would be pairing two exciting top five fighters against each other.

Marvin Vettori beats Jack Hermansson in a war at UFC Vegas 16

Tonight the UFC returned for their sixteenth fight night inside The Apex. In the main event of the evening was a battle between top middleweights, Jack Hermansson (21-5) and Marvin Vettori (15-4).

It’s been an interesting road on getting to UFC Vegas 16 for Jack Hermansson. Originally, Hermansson was scheduled to take on Darren Till in the main event. However, Till had to pull out of the fight with a knee injury. 

Following Till was Kevin Holland. Holland had been 4-0 in 2020 and the UFC rewarded him with the Hermansson fight. However, Holland would test positive for COVID-19 which cancelled the fight. That’s when the UFC turned to The Italian Dream.

Vettori was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 256, however, he couldn’t pass up a main event opportunity. Both of these two men were looking to take another step towards the middleweight title with a win tonight.

UFC Vegas 16 Main Event Recap

Round 1

As the first round of the UFC Vegas 16 main event got underway, Hermansson opened the striking with a leg kick. Both men were holding the center of the cage as Vettori landed two crisp left hands. Hermansson was very light on his feet, but Vettori was doing well at closing the distance.

Vettori landed a nice uppercut and followed it a straight left. Hermansson countered with a great body kick, however, Vettori was still landing cleaner shots. Vettori’s pressure and speed seemed to be bothering The Joker in the first.

Halfway through the round and Vettori floored Hermansson with a massive straight shot. Vettori followed with big shots, but Hermansson did a good job of grabbing ahold of Vettori. Hermansson was able to pull Vettori into his guard.

Vettori kept looking to land big shots on the ground as the round entered it’s final minute. In his first UFC main event, Marvin Vettori looked excellent in the first round. Dominant round one for The Italian Dream.

Round 2

To start the second round of the UFC Vegas 16 main event, Hermansson opened with a big hook and pressure. Hermansson looked like he was trying to get the first round back early on. Vettori looked very composed and landed another good straight shot.

Hermansson shot in for his takedown attempt, however, Vettori did a fantastic job of defending. Hermansson got him to the ground, however, Vettori hit a nice switch and ended up on top. Hermansson started to look for submissions when he was on his back.

Vettori settled in looking to just control Hermansson on the ground. With 90 seconds left in the round, Vettori backed away to get the fight back to the feet. Once on the feet, Hermansson started to pressure Vettori but nothing was landing.

Hermansson attempted another takedown, but couldn’t land it. Two rounds to nothing for Vettori in the UFC Vegas 16 main event.

Round 3

The third round of the UFC Vegas 16 main event saw Hermansson open again with pressure. After a couple of shots failed to land, Hermansson found himself on his back foot. Vettori started opening up his striking with a couple of crisp lefts up the middle.

Hermansson ducked under a shot and timed a takedown attempt beautifully. However, Vettori was able to keep the fight standing with better defense. Vettori seemed to be tiring a little in the third round and his pace was not as high on the feet.

Hermansson started throwing and landing some cleaner shots halfway through the round. Vettori definitely seemed to be tiring as the third round went on. Vettori landed a very clean left, but his shots were getting slower and slower.

Hermansson continued to pressure Vettori in the final two minutes of the round. Hermansson landed two very big right hands and Vettori had nothing to respond with. A much better third round for Hermansson who continued to land clean in the final minute. 2-1 after three in this UFC main event.

Round 4

The fourth round of the UFC Vegas 16 main event saw Hermansson once again open with pressure. However, Vettori seemed to have his legs a little more in the fourth. Almost looked like he took the third round off.

Vettori looked much more slick in the fourth round landing a couple of clean shots up the middle. However, Hermansson was continuing to walk Vettori down in the fourth. Vettori was doing some good work with his straight left in the fourth.

Halfway through the round and Vettori looks like he caught his second wind. He was really opening up his hands and landing clean in the fourth. Hermansson continued to pressure, but he was landing much less in the fourth.

However, Hermansson landed a beautiful combination just as the round entered the final minute. Vettori countered with pepping Hermansson with shots up the middle. Hermansson seemed to have no answer for those straight shots. 3-1 for Vettori in the UFC Vegas 16 main event.

Round 5

As we entered the final round of the UFC Vegas 16 main event, Hermansson knew he needed a finish. However, as soon as the round started, Vettori was landing some clean shots. Hermansson fired back trying to empty the tank and landed some good shots.

However, Vettori stayed composed and started firing back at The Joker. Both men seemed content with standing in the middle of the cage and trading big shots. Vettori once again landed a massive left straight, but Hermansson countered with a big right uppercut.

Hermansson continued to pressure, but again, Vettori was getting the better of the striking. Vettori landed a clean uppercut as the fight entered the final 90 seconds. Hermansson threw a big combination, but Vettori just ate it.

Vettori clinched Hermansson and pushed him into the fence as the fight entered the final 30 seconds. Hermansson rolled for a leglock in the final seconds, but couldn’t lock it in. Great UFC main event that I scored for Vettori 49-46.

Marvin Vettori def Jack Hermansson by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-45)

UFC Vegas 16 Preview: Jack Hermansson – Marvin Vettori

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 16, Jack Hermansson (21-5) will be taking on Marvin Vettori (15-4-1). Both of these top 15 middleweights will be looking to take another step towards UFC title contention.

Marvin Vettori is actually the third opponent for Jack Hermansson for this event. Originally, Hermansson was supposed to take on former title challenger, Darren Till. However, a knee injury forced Till of the UFC Vegas 16 card. 

After that, the UFC moved to Kevin Holland who has won four fights in 2020. However, Holland tested positive for COVID-19 last week which scrapped that fight. Now, we’ve finally landed on Hermansson taking on Marvin Vettori. 

Despite all the changes, Hermansson never wavered in his desire to fight. He said this week that his opponent simply didn’t matter. You have to love that attitude from The Joker. He’s looking to close out 2020 with his second straight win and his sixth in his last seven fights.

Back in July, Hermansson took on Kelvin Gastelum. It was expected to be a tough fight for Hermansson, but he was able to get the fight to the floor early and submit Gastelum quick. It was a major statement for the Joker.

Hermansson has only lost twice since 2017 to Thiago Santos and Jared Cannonier. Those two massive power punches caught Hermansson and finished him. Outside of them, The Joker has used his superior grappling to run through the division.

UFC Vegas 16 Prediction

One thing to know about UFC Vegas 16’s Marvin Vettori is that he’s not afraid of anything from Jack Hermansson. The Italian Dream is supremely confident and believes that this fight will carry him into title contention.

Since 2017, Vettori has only lost one fight and that was to Israel Adesanya. Outside of that, he’s looked really good in his UFC fights. He’s on three fights in a row including a dominant submission win over Karl Roberson back in June.

Vettori has a very solid overall game, but will likely need to keep it standing to get the win tomorrow. Vettori has good striking, but he doesn’t possess incredible amounts of power. He’s a good grappler, but he will be overmatched by Jack Hermansson on the ground.

When it comes to UFC Vegas 16, I think there’s a much clearer path to victory for Jack Hermansson. He’s superior on the ground and I don’t think Vettori possesses enough power in his hands to stop Hermansson. Incredible power has been the only thing to stop Hermansson so far.

When these two get in the cage tomorrow, I think it’ll be evident early on that Hermansson is the superior grappler. I think Vettori will have his moments, but over the course of five rounds, I think Hermansson’s skills will be too much.

Prediction: Jack Hermansson by Unanimous Decision

UFC: Marvin Vettori doesn’t think Israel Adesanya has proved much

UFC Vegas 17 tomorrow night is being headlined by a great middleweight contest between Jack Hermansson (21-5) and Marvin Vettori (15-4-1). The Italian Dream has won three consecutive fights leading into the main event tomorrow.

The last man to have defeated Marvin Vettori was current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. The two men fought back in April of 2018 and Adesanya got the victory by split decision. Arguably the closest fight of Adesanya’s career.

For the last couple of years, Vettori has been asking for a rematch with Adesanya. Since that fight, Adesanya has become a superstar and captured the UFC‘s middleweight crown. Vettori has done some solid work, however, he’s still not close to another shot at the title.

Tomorrow night can of course change that. Yesterday was the UFC‘s virtual media day and the media members asked Vettori about the current champ. They asked him about his pending move to light heavyweight.

Vettori told the media, “He just thinks he can do whatever he wants. Reality, to me, he still didn’t prove much. His last fight was good, but it was more Costa beating himself. Before that, in my eyes, was one of the worst title fights ever.”

UFC’s Unproven Champ?

Let me start out by saying that I firmly disagree with Marvin Vettori. Yes, Israel Adesanya has proved a lot in the UFC‘s middleweight division. I will agree with Vettori saying the Romero fights was one of the worst title fights I’ve ever seen.

Vettori is known for being extremely outspoken and he’s not a fan of Adesanya. He believes that he won their first fight. While Vettori did do well, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of people believe that Adesanya won that fight.

Nevertheless, Vettori was more competitive with the UFC champ than anyone else outside of Kelvin Gastelum. If Vettori picks up the win tomorrow night, he might just be one fight away from a potential shot at the title.

Adesanya has made it clear that he wants to return to the UFC‘s middleweight division eventually. If Vettori picks up a couple of additional wins, I would love to see the two of them rematch to finally settle the score.

Jack Hermansson was going to fight at UFC Vegas 16 no matter who the opponent was

It’s been a wild journey for Jack Hermansson (21-5) leading up to the UFC Vegas 16 main event. The promotion’s fourth ranked middleweight is getting his third headlining fight, but he’s had to stay on his toes on who he’d be facing.

Originally, the UFC announced that Hermansson would be taking on Darren Till at UFC Vegas 16. These two men had some fun back and forth over social media and it was a fight that the fans were really excited for.

However, Darren Till sustained an injury and he was forced to pull out of the fight. The UFC went to work and decided to have Hermansson fight Kevin Holland. Holland has made a strong case for fighter of the year going 4-0 in 2020 thus far.

Kevin Holland was nicknamed loudmouth by Dana White because he simply doesn’t stop talking in the cage. Holland was getting the biggest opportunity of his career headlining against a top UFC middleweight like Hermansson.

Hermansson had no issues taking the fight against Holland. Then, last week, Holland tested positive for COVID-19 and he was forced out of the UFC Vegas 16 main event. That is when the promotion turned to Marvin Vettori (15-4-1).

Vettori was scheduled to take on Jacare Souza at UFC 256, but the promotion wanted him to move up. Once again, Hermansson didn’t care about who the replacement was. Without even thinking about it, Hermansson accepted the fight. 

It’s just about a UFC fight for Hermansson

There has been so many cases in the history of the UFC where a fight gets scrapped altogether if one person falls out. Sometimes the UFC can’t find a replacement opponent and other times the main event fighter doesn’t want to fight the replacement.

Hermansson is not one of those guys. He appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show today to talk about the wild ride leading up to this weekend. Helwani asked Hermansson about the opponent changes and if he ever thought of saying no.

“It didn’t matter who it was, you know? As long as I have a fight, I’m all good. I’m here in Vegas to fight and they can put anyone in front of me now,” Hermansson told Helwani.

If you weren’t a fan of Hermansson before, how could you not love the guy after an answer like that. One of the best middleweights in the UFC and he doesn’t care about who the opponent is, he just wants to fight.

Marvin Vettori is no joke and this fight is not expected to be an easy one for Hermansson. However, as he said, he doesn’t care about who the opponent is or how hard the fight will be. For Jack Hermansson, it’s just about getting in there and fighting on Saturday night.

Kevin Holland rebooked against Jacare Souza at UFC 256

Kevin Holland

It’s turned out to be a game of middleweight musical chairs in the UFC today. Originally, Kevin Holland (20-5) was set to take on Jack Hermansson next weekend in the card’s headliner.

However, it was reported today that Holland tested positive for COVID-19. Thus, the UFC had to move in a different direction. Marvin Vettori was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 256 against Jacare Souza (26-8, 1 NC).

The promotion went to Vettori and asked him to substitute for Holland. After both fighters agreed, the UFC booked a new headliner for next weekend featuring Vettori and Hermansson. However, that left Souza and Holland without opponents.

Well, on tonight’s UFC Vegas 15 broadcast, the promotion announced that Holland will be fighting Jacare Souza at UFC 256. So in the end, Vettori and Holland just ended up swapping places to keep the fights together.

UFC 256’s new matchup

Kevin Holland is on the shortlist of guys who could make the claim that they are fighter of the year. Holland has won all four of his UFC fights in 2020. He’s looked sensational and he’s knocking on the door of the top 15.

A win at UFC 256 over Jacare would put him at 5-0 in 2020 while giving him the biggest win of his career in terms of name. The PPV will be the first time that we’ve seen Jacare since he lost a split decision to Jan Blachowicz last November.

Souza decided to move up to light heavyweight and had a competitive fight with the now champion. However, Souza decided that he wanted to move back down to the UFC‘s middleweight division.

At 40 years old, there’s no telling on how many fights Jacare has left. One thing is for sure and that is that he’s hungry to snap his two fight losing streak. Jacare only has one win in his last four and that was his knockout over Chris Weidman.