Jack Hermansson edged one step closer to a middleweight title shot after quickly submitting Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC Fight Island 2 co-main event.

Hermansson understands he may have to wait and most likely fight again to earn his shot at the 185lb belt and by the time that chance comes he expects Paulo Costa to be wearing UFC gold. The Brazilian knockout artist is due to challenge middleweight king Israel Adesanya in the UFC 253 main event this September.

“I believe Paulo Costa will be champion when I fight for the title,” Hermansson told reporters post-fight at UFC Fight Island 2. “He’s going to put some pressure on Adesanya. Paulo Costa’s pressure is just insane. He’s throwing so hard with everything he’s got. He can do it for almost all of the rounds. It’s just incredible the physique and the power that guy has. I think that’s going to be problematic for Adesanya. But you don’t know what’s going to happen in this sport. Adesanya is a great fighter, he’s a standup wizard and it’s going to be an interesting fight.”

Hermansson expects to face the winner of next weekend’s main event between Darren Till and former champion, Robert Whittaker.

“That’s the plan,” Hermansson said. “The winner between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till, that’s the fight to make. That’s the only thing that makes sense right now, so I’m keeping my eyes on that fight next weekend. … I give a small edge to Whittaker in that fight, but I think it’s going to be a close fight. Both are great standup fighters, but Whittaker has been a great champ, so I think he will take it.”

For right now though the Norweagian fighter is happy admiring his handy work which allowed him to take out one of the divisions best in double-quick time, he said.

“People don’t know, the heel hook has been part of my game for a long time. But you don’t see me on bottom too much. That’s why you haven’t seen the heel hook so much before. Should I end up there again, you’re going to see another heel hook.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Do you think Paulo Costa will be champion by the time Jack Hermansson earns his shot?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.