UFC Fight Island 2: Jack Hermansson Learning to Have Ice in His Stomach

UFC Philadelphia Jack Hermansson
Jack Hermansson Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

After a pedestrian beginning to his UFC career that saw him go 3-2 with a loss by submission and TKO each, Jack Hermansson needed to put together a run. That’s exactly what the Sweden-born, Norwegian-trained fighter did, winning each of his next four bouts. However, after taking advantage of a late notice fight and beating former title challenger Jacare in a headliner, Hermansson then lost to Jared Cannonier.

Although the loss halted the momentum that Hermansson had, he found the positive in the situation. 

“What I learned from that fight was that it [seems] easy when you know that you have an advantage in an area of the game,” Hermansson said. “Like, in that fight, I knew that I’m a better ground fighter than Jared [Cannonier]. So I kind of locked into that game there.” 

That one track mind left Hermansson chasing that part of the game for too long. So long that eventually it cost him the fight. 

“I was just thinking that if I just get him to the ground then the fight would be over there,” he said. “In that process it got way too easy for him to read my game and see what I wanted, and that’s basically what cost me the fight — he saw my level change, it got too easy, too obvious and it was easy for him to time the punch leading to the TKO.”

With that fight in the rearview mirror, Hermansson looks forward to this weekend’s bout with Kelvin Gastelum. A step-up (according to Hermansson) from his originally scheduled opponent, Chris Weidman, Hermansson sees the opportunity to regain the momentum he had lost. To do so, he knows he needs to apply the knowledge gained from his most recent setback. 

“I need to be more unpredictable. I need to have a little more ice in my stomach, so to speak,” he stated. “If he thinks that I’m going to take him down, I’m going to strike him. If he thinks I’m going to strike, I’m going to take him down. That’s what you want basically and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Of course, just because he looks to be unpredictable doesn’t mean that Hermansson is forgetting what got him to where he is. While he is keeping the game plan fluid, he does have an idea where he would like to see this fight at some point. 

“I believe I have a big advantage [on the ground]. I feel like, if I end up on top, I basically have an advantage over everybody in the division,” he said. “So that’s absolutely a place where I want to be.”

But if Hermansson can’t get it to where he’s most comfortable, he’s confident that the recent work he’s put in will still have him in a place to win this fight. 

“I feel like I’ve been doing so well in the standup, that I can win the fight there as well,” Hermansson said. “I’m not totally relying on taking him down or if I can’t get him down, I’m not going to be frustrated. I do believe my standup is going to be enough as well.”

With all of this coming together, Hermansson is confident in predicting a stoppage of the former title challenger, Gastelum. 

“I see a lot of scenarios all the time, but what I told everybody is third round TKO,” he said. 

You can see Hermansson look to put his new mentality to work and make good on his prediction in the co-main event of this weekend’s UFC: Figueiredo vs Benavidez card on ESPN+.