- By Cypress Austin | @4zayd | Sep 30, 2019, 2:14pm EST
Jack Hermansson took on Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC Fight Night 160 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Obviously the fight was in Jack Hermansson’s home turf so naturally the pressure was on him to perform. You would think the same pressure, if not more, would be on Jared, however as we saw in the Anderson Silva fight in Brazil, Jared thrives off of that type of energy. It only took him two rounds to dispatch of the Swede.
The story of round 1 was Hermansson’s inability to take Jared to the ground. We probably were all thinking that Jared would be too much for Hermansson on the feet, so naturally he would try to take him down and tire the larger man out. However, Jared gave him no room to work with. As we saw in the David Branch fight, Cannonier gets better at defending as he figures out his opponent’s take-down style. Meaning, it might look like he struggles with the first few take downs, but they become easier to stuff as the fight goes on. This is exactly what happened in this fight, as well. The only difference in this fight is that there is a sense that Cannonier is even better than in his last few fights. His demeanor and his ability to stay calm under pressure is at a whole different level than we have seen with him before in the octagon.
It kind of makes one wonder why Jack picked Jared Cannonier to fight of all people, especially given that Cannonier is ranked lower than him and Hermansson was aiming to fight for the title next. Cannonier is definitely one of the harder fights in the middleweight division; he brought the same power he had up from heavyweight, and is just as fast as a welterweight. What really shined about Cannonier is his striking IQ and his ability to change up his striking style based off who he is fighting against. Cannonier is equally as powerful in both hands and he is one of the only fighters who is one of the top athletes in the organization. He does not only throw with power, but rather relies on his technique, which is rare to find in this sport. The fact that he does not rely too much on his athleticism keeps him from gassing out during the fight, and allows him to control the peace of the fight more.
With Jack Hermansson being 31, some would say he is in his athletic prime. This is true, however, there are some adjustments that can be made to his game in order for him to be a title contender in the UFC. Since Jack has burst into the spotlight, it seems that when he does not have the edge in striking during a match, he will pursue takedowns almost over-aggressively. This is the exact hole that was exploited in his game this weekend, when Hermansson got caught with an uppercut while going for an ill-advised takedown . Also, during the standup it felt as if he was not using his length as effectively as he could, especially with the kicks. Working on chaining and setting up his takedowns as well as effectively using his reach will largely benefit him going forward. His submission game and overall grappling skills are already solid for the top position. Losing aside, Jack Hermansson is one of the top talents in the middleweight division and he will go back to the drawing board to fix these mistakes and continue on his path to being a title contender.