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Jack Hermansson thought of “100 different finishes” before UFC on ESPN+ 30 win

Watch the Jack Hermansson interview above

There are a number of scenarios that played in the mind of Jack Hermansson at UFC on ESPN+ 30 on Saturday, July 18.

A first-round heel hook victory was one of them. Hermansson thought about a three-round affair, but knew the heel hook would be his answer if the fight went to the ground at the Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

“I like to think about hard, tough, full rounds, all the rounds just to prepare yourself mentally,” Hermansson said.

“But at the same time, I’m thinking about 100 different finishes and all the situations. If I recognize anything, I am going to be ready and take it. 

Getting the finish

The opportunity came on a counter from Gastelum of all places. Hermansson was thrown to his back after trying to clinch with Gastelum.

About a minute into the bout, Hermansson turned for the heel hook, but Gastelum escaped rather quickly. Gastelum remained on top and Hermansson started to turn toward the left leg of Gastelum again. 

This time, Gastelum never escaped. It’s easy to say Gastelum could have gotten up before he locked the second attempt, but Hermansson sees where his opponent was coming from. 

“He probably thought, ‘Alright, this was so dangerous,’ right? Because he slipped out of it right away and he wanted to keep the top control, probably ride out some time there and do some damage,” Hermansson said. “I can understand that, but the wise choice would have been to disengage of course looking at it now. But I can understand it.”

The 32-year-old ranks this victory right next to wins over Ronaldo Souza and Thales Leites. Hermansson took the fight with Souza on short notice, winning the five-round bout by unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN+ 8 back in April 2019. 

The Paradigm Sport Management client also overcame a dislocated rib in his third-round TKO victory against Leites at UFC 224 in May 2018. Even if the Gastelum win is not his No. 1, it comes close.

“I think that is my top three,” Hermansson said. 

Where to go from here

The Swede made it quite clear how he thinks the UFC middleweight division should play out. He wants the winner of former champion Robert Whittaker and Darren Till, who headline UFC on ESPN 14 this Saturday, July 25.

Hermansson was originally slated to fight another former champion in Chris Weidman back in May, but the event was later canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Weidman is no longer on the radar of  Hermansson, who ranks No. 6 in the division.

He is only looking to fight guys ranked ahead of him at the moment. Hermansson is willing to sit back and watch the division play out, unless opportunity presents itself again. 

“If the right fight presents itself, I’ll be ready,” Hermansson said. “Preferably I would love to fight pretty soon. My body is good, I’m in shape, so i can kind of continue riding that wave and hopefully the right fight comes.”

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