The UFC returns from a two week break this weekend with a middleweight main event that many fans and casuals are sleeping on.
We’ll see two top-ten ranked 185-pounders go head to head at UFC Vegas 47 when Jack Hermansson returns to the octagon to take on the man steamrolling through the division currently in Sean Strickland.
But while these two aren’t exactly household names in the division, they are two incredibly skilled individuals who should bring the best and worst out of each other on the night.
For Hermansson, he’s looking to get back into title contention.
There have been several occasions where he seemed on the brink and then fell flat. His defeat to Jared Cannonier saw a four-fight win streak snapped and since then he’s alternated.
He beat Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Island 2 with a heel hook in 88 seconds, before suffering a dominant decision loss to Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 16 despite the Italian coming in on short notice.
He bounced back in his most recent bout against Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC Vegas 27 with a decision win, and now goes in against a hungry striker once again.
Strickland is on a five-fight win streak currently, with four of those coming since a two-year injury layoff.
He followed that up with dominant decision wins against Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Vegas 25 and then Uriah Hall in his first main event.
He’s showed little weakness in his game, with a solid wrestling background to go with his sturdy boxing and great cardio. His unstableness has seen some fans turn against him, and rightly so in all honesty, but his abilities are undeniable.
So this fight has a veteran looking to finally break through his glass ceiling, and a fighter on a hot run of momentum looking to smash through that ceiling at the first attempt.
If Hermansson can win, then it will show he is still good enough to hang at the highest level. His submission skills are elite, his striking is decent but it’s his intelligence that often gets to people the most and he is able to pick opponents apart.
‘Tarzan’ on the other hand just looks to break his opponent. Whether that be physically, mentally or both, he will come forward talking to his opponents and blasting them with countless strikes.
A win for him is huge as it cements him as the new contender in the weight class, with back-to-back main events in the bank and a fight with a top five guy up next. A loss though, shows him up to be just another pretender.