With less than a week to go before UFC Vegas 16, Jack Hermansson has gone from betting favorite to underdog.
Hermansson was booked to fight Kevin Holland in the main event of the December 5th affair at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas. But after Holland tested positive for the virus last week, he was removed from the fight. Meanwhile, Marvin Vettori was slated to face Jacare Souza at UFC 256 one week later. To save this weekend’s main event, the UFC switched opponents, pitting Hermansson against Vettori and matching up Holland with Souza.
Per the broadcast, Kevin Holland will now face Jacare at UFC 256.
Jacare and Hermansson essentially trade opponents.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 29, 2020
The opponent change has caused Hermansson to move from being a -230 betting favorite against Holland to a +110 underdog against Vettori when the betting lines opened at SportsBetting.ag for the new UFC Vegas 16 headliner.
Marvin Vettori opens as a betting favorite to Jack Hermansson. Who is your money on? 🤔 https://t.co/PPlv2RGrlU
— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) November 29, 2020
Hermansson is currently the 4th ranked middleweight contender in the UFC. Known as the Joker, the Swedish-Norwegian mixed martial artist is a former Cage Warriors and Warriors Fight Series middleweight champion. The 32-year old known as the Joker also fought for Bellator MMA before joining the UFC in 2016.
Jack Hermansson (-110) by submission‼️
The Joker gets the heel hook on Kelvin Gastelum to take home the victory 💪pic.twitter.com/JnJQnDPlOP
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 19, 2020
Standing 6-1 tall with a reach of 77.5 inches, Hermansson opened his UFC career with a mediocre 2-2 record but since then, he has lost just twice in his last nine bouts to move inside the Top 5 in the rankings. Overall, the Joker is 21-5 with 11 knockouts and six wins via submission.
Hermansson climbed all the way up to no. 2 in the rankings but then he suffered an upset loss to Jared Cannonier at UFC on ESPN +18 last September. Hermansson entered the fight as a -270 odds on favorite but was knocked out in 78 seconds. He successfully rebounded from that loss with a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum during the first Fight Island series.
Close Call With Izzy
Vettori is currently ranked 13th in the UFC’s middleweight division. The 27-year old from Trento, Italy is known in the UFC for his close call with reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Vettori fought Adesanya at UFC on Fox 29 in April 2018 and gave the Last Stylebender all that he could handle. Adesanya would end up with the win but Vettori won one scorecard at 29-28.
— Jon Realejo (@BloodyCanvasJon) April 14, 2020
The Italian Dream is a former Venator Fighting Championship welterweight champion. After earning an 11-2 record in the European circuit, he joined the UFC in 2016. Vettori started his Octagon career with a 2-2-1 record but he heads to this fight with a three-fight winning streak.
In his last bout, Vettori scored a first-round submission win over Karl Roberson, a win that put him in the rankings. Now, Vettori has a chance to climb the ladder higher as he faces a Top 5 opponent in Hermansson. Overall, Vettori has a record of 15-4-1 with two knockouts and nine wins via submission.
First Headliner for Vettori
Kevin Holland was supposed to be rewarded for his impressive 4-0 record inside the UFC’s silent arena this year. When Darren Till could not face Hermansson, Holland got the call. However, he fell ill, and now it’s Vettori who will get his biggest break in the promotion. Vettori may have taken the Hermansson fight on short notice but he has been training since he was supposed to fight one week later.
Just give him a name!
🃏 @JackTheJokerMMA is willing to fight anyone.
— UFC (@ufc) November 30, 2020
This will not only be the biggest fight of Vettori’s career but it will also be the first time that he will headline a UFC event. Meanwhile, this is the third time in four fights where Hermansson is fighting in the main event. The Joker won his first headliner against Jacare Souza and lost his second one to Cannonier.
A lot is one the line for both fighters here. For Vettori, this will be a chance to barge into the Top 10 in the rankings and prove that he belongs to the elite level. Meanwhile, Hermansson looks to solidify his place among the best middleweights in the business and move close to a title shot once again.