With a win this weekend, Jack Hermansson expects to face Israel Adesanya next. However, he is also open to competing in a number one contender fight.
Hermansson takes on Marvin Vettori in a short-notice middleweight bout that will headline UFC Vegas 16 this weekend. A win would make it six in his last seven for “The Joker” who believes he is more than worthy to get the next crack at Adesanya’s middleweight title.
The problem is Adesanya seems set for a move up to the light heavyweight division for a champion vs. champion clash with Jan Blachowicz in March. Whether he returns to the 185-pound division also remains to be seen.
However, Hermansson believes that will be the case and is willing to wait for “The Last Stylebender” to be his next opponent at middleweight. That said, Hermansson is also open to remaining active and facing either Robert Whittaker or Paulo Costa in the meantime.
“Adesanya looks like he’ll be fighting Jan,” Hermansson told MMA Junkie. “In that case, I want to fight with Adesanya. I feel like he fought Whittaker, he fought Paulo Costa. [Jared] Cannonier is coming from a loss. So I could wait for ‘Izzy’ and give him his next title defense at middleweight after Jan. If the UFC wants me to, I could fight Costa or Whittaker as a contender fight, as well, so I think that’s what’s up for the next year.
“I still feel like the middleweight belt is going to be more precious to Adesanya. Something tells me that he will go down and defend his belt at middleweight. It would be really cool if he managed to do it because I would love to fight him when he’s a double champ and undefeated and all. It would be amazing to fight him at that point, obviously.”
Of course, Hermansson has to get past Vettori first and even then, it isn’t guaranteed that he will get a title shot especially with many believing Whittaker should be next in line.
In the end, whatever happens will happen as Hermansson has always said yes to whatever the UFC has offered his way.
“All the way until this point in my career, I’ve always said just, ‘Yes,’ straight away, no questions,” Hermansson said. “Right now, I feel like I’m in a position where I want the big fights, so when we’re negotiating with the UFC, I’m always trying to push for the biggest fights possible. But in this moment, right now, I just feel like, yeah, bring it. I’m in Vegas. I want to fight. Just make it happen. That’s the most important thing at the moment.
“I’m definitely looking to dominate in this fight. I want to pick him apart as quick as possible and make a quick finish so we can just go home with a victory. That’s the plan.”
Do you think a win on Saturday gives Hermansson the next shot?