Never count out Jack Hermansson.
Despite all the hype surrounding Joe Pyfer heading into UFC Vegas 86’s main event, Hermansson reminded that world just how much experience can pay dividends at this level of the sport. After absorbing some hard shots early, Hermansson stormed back to dish out a ton of punishment during the final three rounds to secure a unanimous decision victory.
From a series of devastating calf kicks to a lead jab that kept snapping Pyfer’s head back, Hermansson systematically dismantled his foe over five rounds. When it was over, all three judges scored the fight 48-47, with Hermansson getting the nod by unanimous decision.
“I know that people underestimate my boxing skills because of some less good performances, but I believed in myself, especially in a long fight — nobody has the cardio I have,” Hermansson said of his win. “I got hit in the beginning more than I should have, but the plan was to put on the pace the more the fight went. I drown people when I do that.”
Hermansson’s description was pretty much exactly how things played out, with Pyfer looking for the knockout early and often in the first two rounds, throwing with fight-ending power behind every single punch. Pyfer managed to connect with a few shots, but Hermansson did a good job to roll with the punches and circle away so he never was trapped in a bad position.
As time passed, Pyfer’s output slowed down and there were no more combinations coming from him. Instead, Pyfer became more predictable with one shot thrown at a time, which allowed Hermansson to anticipate his moves and then counter with his own offense.
Hermansson established a nasty jab that opened a cut on Pyfer’s nose and kept chipping away with that same punch over and over again. He also chopped away at Pyfer’s lead leg with a series of devastating calf kicks as the damage added up over the final three rounds.
As time ticked away to the final horn, Hermansson scored a takedown and peppered away at Pyfer on the ground with very little resistance coming back at him. An exhausted Pyfer just didn’t have an answer to Hermansson’s relentless pace, which was ultimately the difference in the fight.
“Listen, I don’t think anything surprised me,” Pyfer said following his first UFC loss. “Jack was better tonight. I guess he would have won the last three rounds. I feel like the shift in this fight was literally the calf kicks.”
It had been over a year since Hermansson last appeared in the UFC, and that came in a stunning loss to Roman Dolidze. In his return, Hermansson took out a highly touted middleweight in Pyfer and reestablished himself as one of the top-15 fighters in the division.
With that win, Hermansson now hopes to secure another ranked opponent, targeting the man who just recently took out Dolidze in the UFC.
“I’d love to have at least two more fights this year,” Hermansson said. “First of all, legalize MMA in Norway, it’s really important for me. Second of all, I would love to fight in Sweden again. And third of all, what about Nassourdine Imavov from last weekend? I think that would be a great opponent.”