MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 18, a five-round middleweight bout between Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier. The event takes place Saturday, September 28 at Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jack Hermansson (-240)
Hermansson (20-4) is one of the top-five middleweight contenders in the UFC. The 31-year-old Swede was signed by the UFC in 2016 and has since then racked up a very impressive 7-2 record inside the Octagon. He is currently riding a four-fight win streak which includes a huge upset win over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in his last fight. Hermansson is a massive middleweight who stands 6’1″ and has a 77.5 inch reach. He is a very well-rounded and dangerous fighter, with a slick submission game and devastating ground-and-pound on the mat. He is also very effective on the feet with a rangy volume attack. Hermansson is closing in on a title shot at 185lbs and a win over Cannonier might just earn him the next middleweight title shot.
Jared Cannonier (+200)
Cannonier (12-4) is one of the top-10 ranked middleweight contenders in the UFC. The 35-year-old American has been competing in the UFC since 2015 at three different weight classes. He went 1-1 as a heavyweight, then 2-3 as a light heavyweight, and now 2-0 as a middleweight. Since moving down to 185lbs, Cannonier has looked fantastic, taking out both David Branch and Anderson Silva via TKO. He’s a well-rounded fighter with solid takedown defense and very powerful striking on the feet. He also has strong ground-and-pound on the mat. Cannonier has been a late bloomer in his MMA career and could soon close in on a title shot at 185lbs. A win over Hermansson would certainly get him one step closer to realizing his dreams of becoming a UFC champion.
Fight Breakdown: The main event of UFC Copenhagen is a really good middleweight fight between Hermansson and Cannonier. Both men are on the up-and-up right now and closing in on a title shot at 185lbs. The winner of this fight would absolutely put themselves in a great position to fight the winner of UFC 243’s Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya title fight. That being said, I favor Hermansson to win this fight. As good as Cannonier has looked lately, I just feel like Hermansson is the better fighter. The fight against Souza was really eye-opening and showed how much he’s improved his game. We already knew Hermansson was good on the ground, but the Souza fight showed how much he’s improved his striking. Cannonier probably has more pure knockout power on the feet, but Hermansson throws more volume. This is a five-round fight and that should favor Hermansson as well as he has the better cardio. And if the fight goes to the ground I favor Hermansson there as well. Considering this fight is scheduled for 25 minutes, I don’t see it lasting the entire five rounds. I think Hermansson tires Cannonier out, takes him down to the ground, and finishes him late with ground-and-pound for a TKO win.
Prediction: Jack Hermansson wins via TKO