- No. 5-ranked Jack Hermansson faces No. 9 Jared Cannonier in a high-stakes middleweight contest at UFC Fight Night 160
- Hermansson is a sizable favorite in the mid-week moneyline
- Will a fifth straight win be Hermansson’s ticket to a title shot?
The UFC makes its first trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, on Saturday (Sept. 28) for Fight Night 160. In the main event, two top-10 middleweights — Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier — look to make a jump up the rankings.
The main card for FN160 streams on ESPN+ at 2:00 PM ET, following prelims on ESPN+ at 11:00 AM ET.
HERMANSSON VS CANNONIER ODDS
|Fighter||Odds (as of Sept. 24)|
Hermansson joined the UFC in 2016. At the time, he had some hype behind him thanks to an eight-fight winning streak. He had also won and defended the Cage Warriors middleweight title. Hermansson struggled to find his place in the UFC’s 185-pound division until last year when he broke out in a big way. He’s now on a four-fight winning streak. Each of those contests was progressively tougher. His most recent win was a big one. In April, Hermansson defeated perennial title contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by decision.
Like Hermansson, Cannonier took some time to find his place in MMA. He started his career at heavyweight, which is where he had his first two UFC bouts. After going 1-1 in the division, Cannonier dropped to light heavyweight where he went 2-3.
In November, Cannonier made his middleweight debut. He scored a TKO win over former two-division World Series of Fighting Champion David Branch in that bout. Cannonier followed that with a TKO win over ex-UFC middleweight title-holder Anderson Silva.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|Jack Hermansson||Category||Jared Cannonier|
|5.24||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||3.62|
|2.37||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.76|
|2.19||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.20|
|0.8||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.0|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The way Hermansson sees it, if he wins this fight, it should set him up to face the No. 2-ranked Paulo Costa or a title shot. Hermansson’s four consecutive victories tie him for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the middleweight division.
As for Cannonier, the jury is still out. There’s no doubt that he’s a powerful striker, but with only two wins at middleweight against fighters who are on the downside of their careers, it’s hard to tell where he stands overall. If he can get by Hermansson, who is a proven commodity, Cannonier will get a big test in his next outing.
Hermansson is a gifted all-around fighter, but his bread and butter is his groundwork. However, his striking on the feet should not be dismissed. Hermansson uses awkward approaches and angles to deliver his strikes. He also mixes his techniques well, never giving his opponent a chance to figure out what’s coming next.
When Hermansson senses his opponent slowing, he ramps up his offense and that’s when he goes for takedowns. Once the fight is on the mat, he can finish with ground strikes or go for any number of submission techniques. Hermansson went the five-round distance with Souza.
Cannonier is all about power. He knows he’s slower than most of his opponents, so he uses counter strikes and forward pressure to wear down his opponents. He is patient and has a knack for finding openings to deliver his power punches. He has only gone the distance four times and has never been in a five-round battle.
Cannonier has the power to starch anyone from heavyweight to middleweight and that is impressive. However, his takedown defense of 44 percent is 11 points lower than the UFC average. On the flip side of that equation, Hermansson’s takedown average of 2.19 is above average.
Barring a surprise knockout from Cannonier, which is possible, the more well-rounded Hermansson will find a way to victory via one of the many available routes.
Pick: Hermansson (-235)