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UFC Vegas 16 card: Jack Hermansson vs Marvin Vettori full fight preview

UFC Fight Night: Roberson v Vettori Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight bruisers Marvin Vettori and Jack Hermansson will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Dec. 5, 2020) at UFC Vegas 16 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since his split-decision loss to Israel Adesanya in April 2018, Vettori has been constantly calling for a rematch with “Stylebender.” He’s still several wins away, but a three-fight win streak and Top 15 ranking leading into this main event slot is a solid start to building a run at the title. Meanwhile, Hermansson is in the midst of his own run at the title. “The Joker” has won five of his last six bouts opposite very stiff competition, and no opponent change has deterred him from taking another step toward the Middleweight crown.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Marvin Vettori

Record: 15-4-1
Key Wins: Karl Roberson (UFC on ESPN 10), Cezar Ferreira (UFC Fight Night 155), Andrew Sanchez (UFC Fight Night 161), Vitor Miranda (UFC Fight Night 112)
Key Losses: Israel Adesanya (UFC on FOX 29), Antonio Carlos Junior (UFC 207)
Keys to Victory: Vettori is an interesting athlete. He seems to throw hard and is built for big swings, yet Vettori tends to throw in volume and maintain that pace late in the fight. If able to drag down his opponent, Vettori’s top game features heavy punches and dangerous strangles.

Against Hermansson, Vettori wants a kickboxing match. However, given Hermansson’s reach advantage and jab, Vettori will be tasked with closing the distance without giving up takedowns in the process. To make that happen, smart pressure is the name of the game.

In this Southpaw vs. Orthodox clash, Vettori has the option of trying to smother his foe’s lead hand with his own. That would be a huge help in prevent Hermansson from winning the range battle, so winning the hand fight should be a priority. If Vettori can stop the jab from dictating exchanges, his left is likely to find a home far more often.

Another big range weapon of Hermansson is the low kick, which he likes to land with a big run forward. Hermansson has been taken down off the kick before, and Vettori likes catching kicks for takedowns — sounds like a match! If Vettori is the one in top position, he stands a real good chance at doing damage or snatching the neck.

Jack Hermansson

Record: 21-5
Key Wins: Kelvin Gastelum (UFC Fight Island 2), Ronaldo Souza (UFC Fight Night 150), David Branch (UFC on ESPN 2), Thales Leites (UFC 224), Gerald Meerschaert (UFC on FOX 31)
Key Losses: Jarred Cannonier (UFC Fight Night 160), Thiago Santos (UFC Fight Night 119), Cezar Ferreira (UFC Fight Night 100)
Keys to Victory: Hermansson is a fighter who thrives on the strength of his movement. The Swede is also feinting and false starting, looking to catch his opponent reaching with a double leg or pull counter.

Against Vettori, the jab is going to be of critical importance. If Hermansson cannot snap Vettori’s head back at least on occasion, he’s going to have a difficult time keeping Vettori back or timing his takedowns. As explained above, having his lead hand controlled would be a big problem for “The Joker.”

Fortunately, foot work can help eliminate the hand fight. If Hermansson is moving laterally and convincing Vettori to come to him, it will be more difficult for the Italian to control his jab. Instead, Hermansson can time Vettori’s steps forward and look to catch him clean.

Typically, if Hermansson’s jab is landing, everything else falls into place.

Bottom Line

The winner is in a pretty good spot at 185 pounds.

With Adesanya challenging for the Light Heavyweight crown and potentially chasing Jon Jones afterward, the timeline is unclear for the next Middleweight title defense. Plus, Robert Whittaker is next in line, so there’s definitely potential for a logjam for would-be contenders like these two.

All the same, the victor of this bout will likely be the highest ranked Middleweight coming off a victory aside from Whittaker. That could set up a showdown with “The Reaper,” or another highly ranked fighter in the win column like Uriah Hall.

Alternatively, defeat definitely stings. For Hermansson, two losses in three trips to the cage will stall his momentum, forcing him to put together another longer win streak. Vettori is several years younger at 27 years old, so this is more of a test if he’s ready for Top 5 opponents.

Meanwhile, a loss slows his progress.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 16 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+/ESPN2 “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+/ESPN2 10 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 16: “Hermansson vs Vettori” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

At UFC Vegas 16, Marvin Vettori and Jack Hermansson will throw down. Which Middleweight remains standing when the dust settles?

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