This past weekend, Jack Hermansson picked up the biggest victory of his career, scoring a decision over former Strikeforce Middleweight champion and longtime contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Not only did he secure the victory, but the 30-year-old even came dangerously close to submitting Jacare, who ranks as one of the most decorated grapplers to have ever competed in mixed martial arts.
With the win, the 30-year-old Swede improved his professional record to 20-4 overall and extended his UFC winning streak to four—three of those victories coming by way of stoppage. Moving forward, “The Joker” will undoubtedly be in line for another high profile fight at 185 pounds.
At the moment, the Middleweight title picture is a bit backed up. Earlier this month at UFC 235, Israel Adesanya scored a decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum to become the interim champion. He will next challenge undisputed titleholder Robert Whittaker in a title unifier, once “Bobby Knuckles” returns from his injury.
Because of that, Hermansson will be matched up with another contender before being considered for a shot at gold.
One name that make sense for Hermansson is actually Gastelum. Despite coming up short against “The Last Stylebender,” Gastelum put on a strong performance in what was an incredible back-and-forth contest.
The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner proved that he certainly still ranks amongst the elite at Middleweight and the bout would seem to make sense for both men. For Gastelum, 27, it would provide a chance to bounce back against a rising contender. And for Hermansson, it would provide a chance to pick up another victory over a highly ranked middleweight stalwart.
Another opponent that could make sense for The Joker is former multi-time title challenger Yoel Romero. Romero, an Olympic level wrestler with freakish athleticism and explosive striking, was actually scheduled to take on Jacare this past weekend, but he was forced to withdraw due to illness.
Despite twice coming up short in title fights against Whittaker, Romero has proven time and time again to be one of the best 185 pounders alive. He has long been rumored to be in talks for a fight against another upstart in Paulo Costa, but if that fight once again falls through, Hermansson could make sense for “The Soldier of God.”
Like Gastelum, Romero needs to get back on the horse and bounce back. A fight against the Swede would give him a chance to do that. And if Hermansson was able to overcome the Cuban, he’d stake his claim as a legitimate threat to the 185-pound title.