Jared Cannonier vs. Jack Hermansson
Saturday, September 28, 2019 – 05:30 PM EDT
UFC Copenhagen is a card stacked with insane action and the headliner may not hold the name value of some of the previous cards we have seen this year, but it does carry with it serious title implications and guaranteed violence.
This is a striker vs grappler match featuring two rising stars in the UFC’s middleweight division that can only end with one man unconscious.
Jack “The Joker’ Hermansson (-230) Stats and Facts:
31 years old
5.24 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
2.37 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
2.19 Takedowns per 15 minutes
Record: 20 – 4
4 fight win streak
80% Finish Rate
1 Loss by KO
The Joker has been a sneaky good fighter inching closer and closer to a title shot without anybody noticing. When discussions of future middleweight champions happen we think of Kelvin Gastelum & Israel Adesanya but with names like Thiago Santos, Jacare Souza, and Chris Weidman still hovering Hermansson was never thought of.
Now that all 3 of those legends have moved to 205 and we have the resolution of Adesanya vs. Gastelum leading to Israel’s upcoming title fight with Rob Whittaker we look back at what the Joker has done and it’s a wonder we didn’t notice him sooner.
Jack is riding a 4 fight win streak and 8-2 in his last 10. Jack’s 2 UFC losses are to Cezar Ferreira in just his 2nd UFC fight and Thiago Santos who has since moved to 205 and fought Jon Jones for the title.
Despite having difficulty with a couple of top tier fighters, Jack has taken out the likes of David Branch, Gerald Meerschaert, Thales Leites, and most impressively Jacare Souza.
The Joker is an explosive grappler and striker and he has finished 80% of his victories. In his last fight, he completely outclassed Jacare Souza who was promised a title shot with a win over “The Joker’.
Jacare is a BJJ black belt who has dynamite in his hands and looked like a runaway freight train until Jack got a hold of him.
Jared “The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier (+195) Stats and Facts:
35 years old
77 inch reach
3.62 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
2.76 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
44% Takedown defense
Record: 12 – 4
2-2 of 4
8 wins by KO
2-0 at middleweight
Jared Cannonier got his start in MMA late in life and was intending to lose some weight but has found himself on the biggest stage in the fighting world.
Cannonier has had a lot less time to hone his skills in the cage, but has already faced some serious competition and a win over “The Joker’ could see him in the right place at the right time for a title shot.
Cannonier made his UFC debut against Shawn Jordan and lost via KO in round 1, but bounced back with a 1st round KO over Cyril Asker and a 3 round domination over Ion Cutelaba.
Nobody gave Cannonier much of a shot in his fight over Cutelaba, but he showed a toughness and ability to grapple that surprised everybody handling the much younger fighter from bell to bell and taking his best shots.
Since that win, Cannonier has been in the deep end of the UFC and there is apparently no going back. He dropped from heavyweight to 205 and faced the legend Glover Teixeira, Jan Blachowicz, and Dominic Reyes. It appears he has finally found his home at 185 after defeating David Branch and Anderson Silva.
The only issue I have with this is even though Cannonier was undersized for both Heavy and Light Heavyweight he was steadily being outclassed by the more experienced fighters.
David Branch has been on the decline for some time now and gives up after 2-3 takedown attempts. Anderson Silva is a shadow of himself and was injured when Cannonier kicked his leg ending the fight in a disappointing TKO that I don’t think happens if it wasn’t for Sila’s advanced age.
Cannonier carrier some serious heat in his hands, but I don’t expect The Joker to stand with him for long. He doesn’t have the defensive wrestling chops to keep his fights on the feet and was schooled by Jan Blachowicz, who I believe provided the blueprint to beating him.
Cannonier covers up and moves backward in a straight line when he is pressured with straight punches. Even though he is hard to hold down and is physically strong enough to stand up he lacks the proper technique doing it and puts himself in bad positions.
The Joker has a slick offensive submission game and will snatch the neck of Cannonier in these kinds of transitions and unlike the faded Branch he will not slow down after 2-3 takedowns.
Even though Cannonier is incredibly tough he has been KOd twice in the UFC and I think he will find himself completely outmatched on the mat and on the feet against the younger Hermansson.
This is a 5 round fight, so I do not expect Cannonier to be able to dodge bullets forever and eventually Hermansson will catch him in a submission or be able to get the KO.