Tale of the Tape
Fighting out of Oslo, Norway
MMA record: 24-3
Betting odds: +175
Hermansson possess a somewhat awkward, erratic style that revolves around pressure and pace. His best work is on the mat, but he has an effective jab and underrated power behind his punches. He can be a fast finisher with slick submissions or brutal ground and pound, or wear opposition down with a consistent striking output. Much like his opponent this week, his issues mainly stem from a lack of fundamentals.
A surprisingly sharp jab and high pace are the standout traits of the Swede’s striking game.
He looks to move forward, utilizing his striking as both an outright attack and as a way to close to distance for grappling opportunities. He’s a bit sloppy with his approach but once he gets into punching range he mixes things up well with a variety of hooks and uppercuts. His offense is fairly effective, but not fundamentally sound enough to best technical strikers.
On the defensive end, his chin has been questionable and he leaves many openings to be countered. He tends get wide with his punches and leaves his head exposed during and after exchanges. He relies so much on forearm pressure and pace that he often runs right into counters. Opponents with clean, straight shots down the middle can have particular success against him.
Hermansson’s best takedowns come from the clinch with different throws and trips or even the occasional leg lock attempt. We’ve seen him fail a takedown attempt and instantly wrap up a leg for the win, such as against Kelvin Gastelum. Hermansson often looks for the body lock upon entry, sometimes even blatantly reaching for it and overextending, which can be an issue. Once on the mat, he has a variety of offense from top position. In addition to his submission game, he can uncork vicious ground-and-pound. This allows him to pass guard, find the sub, or even finish the fight with strikes alone. From the bottom, he can be controlled, but is always looking to scramble or sweep and which makes him very difficult to hold down unless facing a high level grappler.
While he has legitimate technique on the mat, Hermansson tends to rely on intangibles in other areas of the fight. He is not particularly fast or athletic, but his strength and and scrambling abilities make him a tough out in the clinch and wrestling. He is persistent with forward pressure and pace, which allows him to be fairly effective on the feet despite rough edges. Two areas where he is clearly lacking, however, are durability and speed. We’ve seen him dropped and finished with essentially one strike multiple times now and he has been susceptible to fast punchers in particular — both of which are concerns given his opponent this week. Should he win here, these issues will be an even greater concern going forward against increasingly better opposition.
Look for part three, featuring my final analysis of this matchup and my official prediction, on Saturday.