Jack Hermansson believes he has to “make a statement” against Joe Pyfer at UFC Vegas 86 to prove he’s still a title contender

By Cole Shelton - February 6, 2024

Jack Hermansson isn’t surprised people are overlooking him and doubting him going into his UFC Vegas 86 main event fight against Joe Pyfer.

Jack Hermansson

Hermansson hasn’t fought since December of 2022 when he suffered a TKO loss to Roman Dolidze. He was later booked to fight Brendan Allen in June, but an injury forced him to withdraw as he was out of action for all of 2023, which was frustrating for ‘The Joker’.

“It’s been quite rough because I was injured. I was supposed to fight Brendan Allen in June, but I got injured before that fight, and I wasn’t able to train. I had to pull out and take time off from martial arts, then the rehab, and back into a healthier body. Now, we are back in business so I’m happy,” Jack Hermansson said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com.

Once Hermansson was ready to return to the Octagon, he was offered the main event spot at UFC Vegas 86 against Joe Pyfer. It’s an intriguing matchup and Hermansson believes his experience in five-round fights will be the difference-maker.

“As soon as I got him as an option, they said it would be a main event so that made it for me… I think it will play a big role because even though you train for five rounds, it is something else to do it in a fight, it’s his first experience with that and it’s something different when you get into those championship rounds,” Hermansson said.

With this being Joe Pyfer’s first five-round fight in the UFC at UFC Vegas 86, Jack Hermansson expects the American to try and end the fight early. Hermansson expects Pyfer to exert a ton of energy looking for a first-round KO, which he has been able to do on frequent occasion in his UFC career.

“I think so, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to take me down either,” Hermansson said. “I believe Joe wants to keep this fight on the feet… Joe will come out hot, he knows he’s powerful, and I think he relies on that power. I’m not going to let him use it, so, the plan is to not get hit and hit him a lot.”

If Hermansson can extend the fight, he believes he will be able to wear out Pyfer which will eventually lead to a stoppage win at UFC Vegas 86.

“I think it is important to show everybody that I’m still here, and I’m still here to play with the big guys. It’s important for me to make a statement here,” Hermansson said.

Should Hermansson get a stoppage win over Joe Pyfer at UFC Vegas 86, he expects to get another main event fight and eyes Naassourdine Imavov.

“A win would be very good for me, it would help me climb upwards. If I beat Joe, I will show everyone I deserve a bigger fight next time out… A realistic option would be Imavov, that would be a good fight if I win this one.”

But, before Hermansson can get that, he will need to beat Pyfer on Saturday which he knows is easier said than done.