Jack Hermansson always has his eye on the fighters ranked above him at middleweight. While preparing for David Branch at UFC Philadelphia, he’s keeping Chris Weidman in his crosshairs.
Wilmington, DE — The UFC Philadelphia media day took place Thursday in Delaware (just outside Philly), and on hand was Jack Hermansson, absolutely beaming ahead of the biggest fight of his career to date. The Swedish middleweight is set to take on David Branch this weekend in the co-main event on the Philadelphia card at the Wells Fargo Arena, an event properly known as UFC on ESPN 2.
Speaking to media members including Cageside Press, Hermansson said that “I’m super happy to get this opportunity to get a big fight like this, on a big, great card. I’m looking forward to making the most of it.” In short it is nearly exactly the opportunity he was looking for after his last fight. That was a win over Gerald Meerschaert at UFC on FOX 31, his second straight victory in the promotion. That night, Hermansson called for a couple of middleweights, including Elias Theodorou. He got Branch, close by in the rankings.
Hermansson has had his eye on all the names ranked at middleweight, and when it comes to Branch, “I think I’m a good match-up for him.”
Hermansson has said in the past that with the right game plan, he can beat anyone. With Branch, crucial is the fact that “I have a big variety in my game. I think that’s the key,” the Swede stated. “[Branch] doesn’t know what’s going to come Saturday night. I think that’s the key to my victory as well.”
And once again, heading into UFC Philadelphia, he has a couple of names in mind.
“I might have, we’ll see,” he said with a laugh. “I’m always looking [at] who are above me. After this fight, we’re going to look into the top ten. You have guys like Brad Tavares, Jared Cannonier, you have Chris Weidman up there. Luke Rockhold, he’s probably going to be at light heavyweight, but we’ll see.”
“Chris Weidman is probably one that I really want, yeah,” he admitted. Far from a harsh callout, it’s clear that Hermansson is looking for challenges. A lot of that comes from a change in how he approached his fights.
“After the loss against [Thiago] Santos, I just changed my mindset completely,” he said. Hermansson’s last defeat came against the Brazilian. “I go in with a different mentality than before. That’s what I need to get the best out of me in there.”
Saying he doesn’t think too much about Santos, or what the Brazilian has achieved since their meeting at UFC Fight Night 119 back in 2017, he did allow that “everything is for a [reason]. I wouldn’t change it even if I could.”
Off in the distance is the UFC’s return to Sweden in June. “It’s really hard not to think about the Sweden card of course. My eyes are on this fight, but if I’m injury free after this one, I will push for a fight in Sweden for sure.” With that in mind, a big showing at UFC Philadelphia is key.
Jack Hermansson faces David Branch in the co-main event of UFC Philadelphia (UFC on ESPN 2) this Saturday, March 30 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, PA.