Joe Pyfer and Jack Hermansson squared off in a Middleweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2024) at UFC Vegas 86 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. After a tough start, Hermansson took control of the fight halfway through and earned a clear-cut victory.
The fight started with a giant pair of left hook connections from Joe Pyfer. The veteran Swede hung tough, however, and started to pressure a bit in response. Pyfer began to beat up the lead leg, and he found another left hook. Halfway through the round, Pyfer was looking seriously powerful and very composed with his boxing attack. He backed Hermansson into the fence and landed a right hand that immediately took effect. Still, “The Joker” kept moving and kicking, but he just wasn’t landing with nearly the impact of his opponent.
The fight moved into the second round, and Pyfer was still ripping power shots upstairs and down. A minute into the round, Hermansson shot his first takedown attempt of the night. It was promptly stuffed. He still wasn’t winning the stand up, but Hermansson’s high guard was starting to block more punches, and his kicks landed with slightly better consistency. Pyfer adjusted by hitting the body more often, and the prospect still looked plenty fresh. On the whole, it was a better five minutes for Hermansson while still being a clear Pyfer round.
Hermansson’s jab grew more active early in the third. Pyfer’s volume was starting to decline, allowing Hermansson to sneak in better connections. In addition, Hermansson’s calf kicks were really starting to bother the knockout artist. After a couple stiff jabs and an uppercut, it was Pyfer shooting on Hermansson! The tables were fully turned, as Pyfer looked uncomfortable on his feet, and his face began to bleed. Just as the momentum seemed to really be going against him, Pyfer opened up with a nice flurry that backed Hermansson off.
Still, it was a strong rebound from the Swedish veteran.
Hermansson’s calf kick was really bothering Pyfer, but he tried to pressure through it. Pyfer scored a strong left hook and used that to enter into a deep takedown attempt, but Hermansson pulled him into the clinch and did some close range damage. A lot of Pyfer’s punches were landing on the guard, whereas Hermansson did well in snapping his jab directly into the nose of his opponent. Pyfer tried to wrestle several times, but all of his attempts were shut down in short order.
With the scorecards likely tied up, Pyfer needed something big in the final five minutes. After a couple left hooks land for him, however, Hermansson wrested control of the fight back into his corner, stabbing Pyfer with jab after jab and kicking his lead calf every so often. Finally, Hermansson ducked into a takedown — just his second attempt of the fight! — and scored it easily with more than three minutes remaining in the round. He never unleashed any particularly nasty ground strikes, but Pyfer remained trapped in bottom position until the final bell.
Hermansson showed off his veteran skill here. Early on, Pyfer just looked so wildly powerful that it was hard to imagine “The Joker” standing with him for most of 25 minutes, but power fades. As Pyfer started to look a little more human, Hermansson was far more willing to trade strikes with him, and he really took over at distance with the jab and calf kick.
This performance served as a nice reminder that Hermansson may not be in the immediate title mix, but he’s still a top-tier 185-pound contender.
Result: Hermansson defeats Pyfer via unanimous decision
For complete UFC Vegas 86: “Hermansson vs. Pyfer” results and play-by-play, click HERE!