Jack Hermansson is on the cusp of middleweight title contention and he has already mapped out how he wants the division to play out.
Hermansson (21-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) picked up an impressive first-round submission win over Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN+ 30, and with some of the division’s top names ahead of him in the rankings already matched up, the Norwegian is starting to plot his route to the title.
Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on Darren Till in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 14 main event and UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya faces Paulo Costa in the UFC 253 headliner on Sept. 19.
Hermansson is eyeing the winner of the Whittaker vs. Till matchup, which he sees propelling him to a title shot. But, strategically speaking, Hermansson hopes Whittaker and Adesanya win, since he doubts the UFC would book an Adesanya vs. Whittaker rematch so soon, considering that Adesanya just beat the Australian last October.
“The best scenario is probably if Israel wins and Whittaker wins, maybe I can fight Whittaker and go for that,” Hermansson told MMA Junkie. “If Costa wins, then maybe they want to give Whittaker the title shot and we’ll see.”
Hermansson admits that, while he does predict that Whittaker stops Till, he sees Costa dethroning the champion.
“I believe the cardio, he will be fine,” Hermansson said of Costa. “I think if it’s gonna be a decision, I believe Costa will win and I believe Costa can stop him, as well. If Adesanya wins, it’s probably by a knockout when Costa is pressuring forward. I do believe Israel will have some problems with Costa when he’s pushing forward with that powerful physique. It’s gonna be hard for Izzy to keep his distance, so it’s gonna be a good fight.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-jack-hermansson-robert-whittaker-israel-adesanya/