Swedish middleweight contender Jack Hermansson inked a new six-fight deal with the UFC on Tuesday, according to Paradigm Sports Management.
Hermansson is currently the fourth-ranked fighter at 185 pounds in the official UFC rankings after bursting onto the scene in the past year.
“The Joker” first signed with the UFC after compiling a 13-2 professional record primarily on the European regional circuit. He competed for Cage Warriors and captured the promotions middleweight title, defending it twice while also competing for separate organizations.
Hermansson inked his first UFC deal in May of 2016. Later in the year on September 3, he made his UFC debut against Scott Askham, a fight he would win by unanimous decision.
Hermansson lost his second UFC bout to Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Cezar Ferreira by arm-triangle choke, but he bounced back to win his next two fights by first-round TKO over Alex Nicholson and Brad Scott respectively.
“The Joker” suffered his second UFC loss to current light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos. The former middleweight Santos dispatched of Hermansson in one round, finishing him by TKO.
Since the loss to Santos, Hermansson has emerged as a legitimate threat in the middleweight division. He took six months off after the loss but followed it up with a successful return at UFC 224 in May of 2018. He finished middleweight mainstay Thales Leites in the third round by TKO to start his current winning streak.
To end a successful 2018 campaign, Hermansson defeated Gerald Meerschaert with a guillotine in the first round of their fight.
“The Joker” kept the momentum rolling in 2019. First, he defeated David Branch by guillotine choke just 49 seconds into their UFC Philadelphia co-main event fight, earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus in the process.
Hermansson then earned a shot at perennial title contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC Sunrise in the biggest test of his career. The 31-year-old middleweight managed to fend off the veteran Souza and earn a unanimous decision victory to plant his name firmly in the 185-pound title picture.
In his first fight since signing his new contract, Hermansson will fight ninth-ranked contender Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC Copenhagen. If “The Joker” prevails, he will likely establish his spot as the next in line for a shot at middleweight gold after Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya compete in a title unification bout at UFC 243.
Shane Connelly is a journalism student at Penn State with a passion for sharing the stories of MMA fighters.