Jack Hermansson believes that former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker might actually be a tougher matchup than the reigning champ, Israel Adesanya.
Adesanya defeated Whittaker by knockout last fall to capture the UFC middleweight strap. Despite the outcome of their fight, Hermansson views Whittaker as the more versatile fighter of the two—particularly after watching the Aussie defeat Darren Till last weekend.
“He looked great [against Till], man,” Hermansson said on Submission Radio. “I’ve been saying it, and I’m always with it, I think he is one of the harder matchups for me in the division, maybe the hardest one, actually, because he has a style that is hard to handle. He’s so good at darting in. He comes like an arrow, very quickly, covers distance. And many people that do that, they’re kind of upright, but he comes in a great angle, a little bit from underneath and upwards when he attacks. And it’s so hard to handle that, because it stretches you up. He has a great style, and he’s just a really great fighter. So, I will have to sit down for a couple of hours and figure out how I’m gonna beat that. Because I don’t know right now, but when I fight him, I will have a good plan.
“I know how I react to different styles in sparring and so on, and I believe that Whittaker definitely has the style that’s going to be the most challenging for me,” Hermansson added. “So, I see him being a harder matchup for me than Adesanya.
“I would rank Paulo Costa [as the] second hardest fight for me in the division. So, yeah, I believe that Whittaker is a trickier fight to handle, even though all of these guys are great and you really need to be on your best to beat any of them, but I do believe that Whittaker is the toughest test for me out there.”
As Hermansson implies, he’s interested in fighting Whittaker next. In fact, that’s the matchup he views as the best option for his next fight, with the loser of the upcoming fight between Adesanya and Paulo Costa coming in at second place.
“My preferences would be Whittaker,” Hermansson said. “That’s the first preference. Then, the second one would be the loser of the title fight [between] Costa, Adesanya. And I guess the third option is Darren Till. So, that’s the three fights that I could see happen. So, we’ll see. We’ll have to have a discussion with the UFC and see on which page they are, because ultimately, they are the one that is taking these decisions.”
Jack Hermansson is riding a dazzling, first-round submission win over Kelvin Gastelum, which separated him from a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier. Who do you want to see him fight next?