The MMA leader is back in a big way, as a huge middleweight matchup headlines the first card of the month.
The UFC will be back live each and every Saturday night in the month of February, beginning this weekend with UFC Vegas 47. It is a momentous card, as it’s the promotion’s 200th Fight Night event since UFC Fight Nights began nearly 17 years ago.
Middleweights Hermansson and Strickland Bid for Top-5 Ranking in UFC Vegas 46 Main Event
Barring any postponements between now and Saturday night, the final version of UFC Vegas 46 will feature a 13-fight card highlighted by a middleweight attraction in the UFC Vegas 46 main event of the evening.
No. 6 contender Jack Hermansson (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) will do battle with No. 7 contender Sean Strickland (24-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) to close out the show at UFC Vegas 46, a five-round fight at five minutes per round at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas– this being among the final shows before returning to the road on a weekly basis next month.
UFC Vegas 47 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the UFC Vegas 47 main event on Saturday evening, both Jack Hermansson and Sean Strickland stand level in height at 6-foot-1.
It’s in the reach advantage category where the fighters are separated, and in this case, it’s Jack Hermansson who’s gained the separation.
Hermansson owns a 1 1/2-inch reach advantage (77 1/2 inches to 76 inches even), as well as a five-inch leg reach advantage (46 1/2 inches to 41 1/2 inches) over Strickland entering the UFC Vegas 46 main event this weekend.
Jack Hermansson Looks to Shake Off Ring Rust From 8 1/2-Month Layoff in UFC Vegas 47 Main Event
Jack Hermansson comes into the UFC Vegas 47 main event on Saturday night having gone 3-2 in his last five MMA appearances, most recently scoring a unanimous decision victory against Edmen Shahbazyan in UFC Vegas 27 on May 21 of last year.
In the interim, he competed in a wrestling match against Khamzat Chimaev, losing on points on Nov. 19 during Bulldog Fight Night 9. After his most recent UFC win, Hermansson talked to Paul Felder about how he put the fight against Shahbazyan away during the third round.
“I was a little bit unsure of the second round,” Hermansson said. “So, I fought with urgency, but I didn’t want to mount, either, because it was very slippery. I was afraid to lose my positioning, so I kept the half-guard and just kept it safe.”
A big concern for the Hermansson camp is an obvious one: ring rust.
By the time the UFC Vegas 47 main event begins on Saturday night, it will have been roughly eight and a half months between MMA fights for “The Joker”, so how much ring rust will he have, and perhaps more importantly, how quickly will he be able to shake it off? We’ll know the answers to these questions soon enough.
Sean Strickland an Entertaining Fighter In and Out of Octagon
In the other corner, Sean Strickland has posted a 5-0 record in his last five UFC appearances, most recently scoring a unanimous decision against Uriah Hall last July 31.
After that win, Strickland again showed off his personality during the post-fight press conference— footage that can only be seen– and audio that can only be heard– to be believed.
“If you like to (expletive deleted) hurt people, you’re in the right sport, man,” Strickland said when asked about Uriah Hall. “I would love nothing more than to kill someone in the ring, nothing more. It would make me super happy. I would own that (expletive deleted), too. I don’t know if it’d make me liable. I might have to say I’m sorry if the cops came, but I would own that (expletive deleted.) Own it, man. Be a psychopath. It’s (expletive deleted) fun.”
An uproarious exchange, for certain, but when the time comes to shine in the UFC Vegas 46 main event on Saturday night, will his in-ring action speak louder than his words out of the ring?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 47 main event on Saturday night looks to favor Jack Hermansson, who has a background in Greco-Roman wrestling and Muay-Thai, compared to Sean Strickland’s brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Jack Hermansson Can End UFC Vegas 46 Main Event Quickly
One aspect of Jack Hermansson’s fight game that’s evident on film is his ability to end the bout in a hurry, something he did expertly about three years ago versus David Branch.
In the first round of the co-main event from Philadelphia, Hermansson stalked Branch and quickly scored with a leg kick before taking him down with a foot sweep, and that was all she wrote from there, as he quickly sunk in a guillotine choke and forced David Branch to tap out inside the first minute of the opening round.
If Jack Hermansson is able to take Sean Strickland down early in the UFC Vegas 47 main event on Saturday night, it could be the opening he needs to make it a quick night at the office.
Sean Strickland Can End the Fight in a Hurry, Too
But just as Jack Hermansson can end the UFC Vegas 47 main event in a flash, so can Sean Strickland.
Back in his UFC promotional debut against Bubba McDaniel almost eight years ago, he was able to reverse a McDaniel slam and get back up to his feet early in the first round, taking him down and grappling with him to take the top mount through and scoring with some ground and pound shots.
Strickland momentarily got back up to his feet, only to pounce on McDaniel again and land more punches to try and soften him up for a possible submission, eventually transitioning to the back mount and applying the needed torque to lock in the rear-naked choke and score his first UFC win with 27 seconds left on the first-round clock.
If Sean Strickland can pacify Jack Hermansson’s offensive gameplan with grappling, he can advance on his ground game to try and secure a submission to wrap up the UFC Vegas 47 main event.
The UFC Vegas 47 main event looks to deliver competitive violence of the highest order this Saturday night. One final word of caution: don’t blink.
Prediction: Jack Hermansson by Unanimous Decision
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images