Jack Hermansson has a big main event coming up next month, but you best believe he will have his eyes glued to the television set this Saturday night for UFC 241.
“The Joker” will face Jared Cannonier in the headliner of UFC Copenhagen on Sept. 28. The event will take place at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, which happens to be close to home for Hermansson who fights out of Oslo, Norway.
Hermansson, who recently signed a new six-fight deal with the organization, is one of the top contenders in the UFC middleweight division. He’s riding a four-fight winning streak and has been victorious in six out of his last seven fights. The UFC’s 185-pound division is very interesting with three extremely important bouts on the schedule between now and Oct. 6, capped off with a title unification bout between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 243.
On Saturday night in Anaheim, a huge middleweight bout between Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa will take place with a lot at stake for both guys, as well as the middleweight division. Romero vs. Costa is one part of the PPV main card that will stream on ESPN+. Hermansson will be watching the bout very closely and has his thoughts about how the anticipated matchup may go down this weekend.
“That’s a tough one,” Hermansson told The Body Lock. “We still haven’t seen much of Costa. We’ve seen some fights, but he’d finished them very quickly. Romero, we know a little bit more about. It’s going to be a clash and it’s a really hard one to pick. I’m going to go with Romero. He’s a veteran, now, and almost everybody has huge problems beating him. But we’ll see if Costa has what it takes.”
With a shot at the UFC middleweight title in his crosshairs, Hermansson, admittedly, will be more of a Romero fan on Saturday. If Romero is victorious, combined with a Whittaker victory over Adesanya, the path to a title shot becomes a little less congested considering Whittaker holds a pair of victories over Romero.
“I’m definitely going to be watching those two fights,” Hermansson said. “I feel like, because I’m as highly ranked as I am, and those two guys — Romero and Costa — are super relevant as well, I feel like, especially if Yoel Romero wins, there might be room for me to get the next title shot, just because Romero fought Whittaker in two other fights.
“It depends on who has the most dominant performance and who is the buzz going to be around. I think that’s going to be very important to who gets the next title shot. I’m going to be watching these fights for sure. I’m seeing myself fighting all of those guys in the near future, both Costa and Romero, and Adesanya and Whittaker. I’m keeping my eyes on both.”
Hermansson’s current winning streak features finishes of Thales Leites, Gerald Meerschaert, and David Branch, along with, most recently, a unanimous decision victory over Ronaldo Souza back in April. The 31-year-old’s main event bout with Cannonier is sandwiched in between the Romero vs. Costa and Whittaker vs. Adesanya fights, which means he will have one piece of the puzzle in place heading into Copenhagen.
The result of Saturday’s middleweight showdown between the surging Costa and the dangerous veteran in Romero will play a factor in Hermansson’s potential title shot earning strategy next month.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Hermansson said. “I’m looking forward to beating that performance, to top it. That would be really awesome. I’m sure the one who deserves it is going to get the next shot.”