The Octagon returned to Florida last night for UFC Fort Lauderdale. Originally, this card was supposed to be a big ESPN card, but after numerous changes to the main event — Jack Hermansson ultimately stepped in to take on Jacare Souza — the card was bumped to ESPN+.
Hermansson dominated Souza and won four rounds on one judge’s scorecards, while the other two gave him three rounds. It was a performance that should get Hermansson ranked in the top-five. As for Jacare, things are less certain.
Here is what we think should be next for Hermansson and Jacare.
Jack Hermansson has had a very good month, to say the least. At UFC Philadelphia, which was just weeks ago, he beat David Branch in just 49 seconds. Then, he stepped in on short-notice to fight Jacare. In the early moments of the fight, Hermansson rocked Jacare and went to the ground and tried to submit him.
Ultimately, Hermansson had success all night on the feet and even took Jacare to the ground on numerous occasions. It was a kind of performance that pushes a fighter into the title conversation, but for Hermansson, one more fight seems likely.
The next logical opponent for Hermansson is Yoel Romero. But, Hermansson said he doesn’t want to fight again until October so things could change. No matter what, he should be fighting a top-3 ranked fighter in a number-one contender fight next.
All Jacare Souza had to do was win the fight and he was going to get the elusive UFC title shot. The 39-year-old said he was promised a title shot if he won, and if he won and didn’t get it, he would retire. Meaning, he is already thinking about retiring, so this might be the last time we see him in the cage.
If he does indeed retire, it was an amazing career for the Brazilian that saw him beat the likes of Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi and Robbie Lawler among others. But, if Jacare decides to continue to fight an opponent that makes sense is Paulo Costa who is ranked seventh. Or, Brad Tavares who is ranked 11th and should be able to return to the Octagon soon.
Ultimately, Jacare has options for his next fight and it will no doubt be a ranked fighter, most likely somebody in the top-10.
Who do you think should be next for these two fighters?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/28/2019.