UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson claimed five ranked fighters turned him down and credited Kevin Holland for stepping up on short notice.
Hermansson was set to fight Darren Till in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on December 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, but Till was forced to withdraw due to an injury. Fortunately, the UFC was able to secure an opponent on short notice for Hermansson as Holland stepped up and took the fight. It’s not a top-10 ranked opponent like Hermansson was hoping to get, but it’s still a quality fight between two talented middleweights.
According to Hermansson in a video statement posted to his social media, the UFC’s first choice to replace Till was not Holland. In a post on his Instagram, “The Joker” said that the UFC asked five other fighters ranked in the top-15 first and all of them turned him down.
“When we got the news, we asked the UFC for a replacement fight. Because yeah, the training camp has been going so good and I really want one more fight this year. So they started asking people above me in the rankings, below me in the rankings and at least five guys turned the fight down. But one guy was willing to fight and that was Kevin Holland. If you follow the sport you know he is a good up and comer. He’s on a great win streak right now. So I hope that this makes for an exciting fight,” Hermansson said (via MMAFighting.com).
Looking at the rankings, it’s hard to pinpoint just who turned down Hermansson. Above him in the rankings are only Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Jared Cannonier, all of who fought recently. Below Hermansson in the rankings are fighters such as Derek Brunson, Yoel Romero, and Omari Akhmedov, all of who are currently unbooked. We don’t know who exactly turned Hermansson down, but at least Holland saved the show.
What ranked fighters do you think turned down Jack Hermansson?