You won’t find many — if any — middleweights who are eager to take Ronaldo Souza to the ground, as the submission specialist has made a living for himself by twisting up his foes into human pretzels once the fight hits the floor.
But Jack Hermansson is more than willing to drag “Jacare” to the mat, as “The Joker” claims his own dangerous ground-and-pound will be more than enough to cancel out the Brazilian’s vaunted ground game.
“I am not afraid to go (to the ground). I will take him down and I will do what I do. He has a really good ground game, but I have good medicine for that, and that’s the best ground-and-pound in the world,” declared Hermansson during his recent interview on The MMA Hour.
“It doesn't matter who you are, if you taste a little bit of these fists, you are suddenly not that good on the ground anymore.”
And he’ll pour on the pain even if he has has a broken rib, just ask Thales Leites.
While Hermansson admits that old school ground-and-pound is seemingly a lost art these days, he takes pride in forcing his foes to crumble with his non-stop onslaught, similar to what Khabib Nurmagomedov does. Hermansson revealed he takes some of what “The Eagle” does into his own attack; however, the Lightweight champion still comes in second place when it comes to pouring on the punishment.
“I think Khabib is probably number two after me. He is extremely good at the controlling. But he gets so tight that he doesn’t get a lot of leverage and power, but he makes up for it in volume and pressure,” he added. “He really wears on his opponents. But I think he is also really, really good at it. And I take some tricks from him as well, when I practice.”
Hermansson got the call up to face Souza in the revamped headlining bout at UFC on ESPN 3 an April 27, 2019 after Yoel Romero fell ill with pneumonia. A win for “The Joker” will give him his fourth in a row and put him right in the mix of the Middleweight championship race.
Taking out Souza on the ground, though, is much easier said than done.