At UFC 271, Israel Adesanya will defend the UFC middleweight title against former champion Robert Whittaker. Before that fight, however, two fighters in the top ten will look to battle it out for a potential title shot. Sean Strickland will face Jack Hermansson on February 5 from inside the UFC’s APEX Center in Las Vegas.
Ranked seventh in the UFC’s middleweight rankings, Strickland made his MMA debut in 2008. A King of the Cage middleweight champion, Strickland joined the UFC in 2014. Initially fighting in the welterweight division in his early UFC run, Strickland returned to middleweight in 2020. He is on a four-fight win streak since the transition and on a five-fight win streak overall. His last fight was a unanimous decision win over Uriah Hall.
Hermansson made his MMA debut in 2010. Competing for Cage Warriors and Bellator, Hermansson joined the UFC in 2016. The former Cage Warriors FC middleweight champion is 9-4 with the UFC and 2-2 in his last four fights. Ranked sixth, Hermansson’s last fight was a unanimous decision win over Edmen Shahbazyan in May.
Sporting News is breaking down the fight and providing some insight into the betting of the matchup.
UFC Vegas 47 odds for Sean Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson
According to the FanDuel Sportsbook, Hermansson is the +180 underdog, meaning a $55.56 wager will result in you winning about $100. By wagering $100, you would win $180. Strickland is the -225 favorite, meaning a $225 wager will result in you winning $100.
According to Sports Interaction, Strickland is the -250 favorite, with Hermansson being the -185 underdog.
Sean Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson Prop Bets
- Strickland via KO/TKO: +220
- Strickland via Submission: +900
- Strickland via Decision: +195
- Hermansson via KO/TKO: +950
- Hermansson via Submission: +550
- Hermansson via Decision: +460
Sean Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson prediction
The biggest takeaway in this fight is the wrestling game of both fighters, or the lack of for Strickland. It is well-known that Strickland is not a fan of wrestling, even though he had four in his last fight against Hall. His average takedowns landed mark is 1.32 compared to 2.09 for Hermansson. Strickland has an 82% takedown defense, but will it be enough to stop a man who has produced 14 takedowns in his last seven fights?
If Hermansson can take Strickland on the ground, it will be interesting to see how the latter can adapt to the situation. “The Joker” has six wins via submission, his last one a heel hook against Kelvin Gastelum in 2020. The last win via submission for Strickland was in 2014, his UFC debut. He did manage to only allow two takedowns from Kamaru Usman on eight attempts.
On the floor might favor Hermansson, but on their feet, Strickland has the advantage.
Strickland has landed 5.45 significant strikes landed per minute, with a 40% strike accuracy. While Hermansson has a 45% strike accuracy, he has landed 4.86 significant strikes per minute. During his five-fight win streak, Strickland has managed to land 535 strikes. He landed 186 against Hall and dominated Krzysztof Jotko with an 84 over 37 mark. In his last five, Hermansson has landed 347, with 122 of them against Marvin Vettori in a losing effort.
Known for being a pressure fighter, Strickland’s accurate strikes and aggressive nature may give him the edge here. He has been working on ways to avoid Hermansson and his ground game, although it is unsure if it will be effective. One thing is for sure: this will be one of the toughest tasks of Strickland’s career. He knows this, and the unspoken fighter is up for the challenge.
Yes, Hermansson’s wrestling game is elite. However, Strickland has all the momentum on his side since a brutal motorcycle accident in 2018. Expect Strickland to play mind games in the octagon and use his power to bully Hermansson. We could end up seeing a new contender at middleweight leading up to UFC 271.