Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier will both look to maintain their momentum in the middleweight division when the rising contenders face off in the main event at UFC Fight Night 160 in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday.
Hermansson (20-4) is currently sitting at No. 5 on the UFC’s middleweight ranking list, while Cannonier (12-4), is the No. 9 contender in the division.
Hermansson, Cannonier Unlikely Contenders
Hermansson comes into the fight on a four-bout winning streak, with his most recent victory coming over Ronaldo Souza by unanimous decision in April. The Swedish fighter’s only loss in the last three years came to Thiago Santos in Oct. 2017, when he suffered a TKO in the final seconds of the first round. Those results have made Hermansson a contender, even if he still needs a marquee win or two to get serious consideration for a title shot.
Cannonier’s ascent into the middleweight rankings might be even more unlikely. After spending time as a heavyweight and a light heavyweight without managing to impress, he has now reeled off two straight wins by stoppage since making his debut at 185 pounds, finishing both David Branch and Anderson Silva to put himself on the map with UFC fans.
That makes this a fascinating battle between two unlikely contenders who are part of a new wave of middleweight fighters adding new depth and intrigue to the division.
A New Wave of UFC Middleweights
Citing fights like the battle between Yoel Romero and Paula Costa at UFC 241, as well as the upcoming title bout between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, Cannonier says all the new blood is great for the sport, and the division.
“It’s like a changing of the guard, or the next generation of middleweight greats,” Cannonier told MMA Fighting. “It’s really cool that my name is in there. I still see myself as a normal guy, so it’s cool to see my name up there. I’m enjoying the ride, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
What could make Saturday’s bout even more exciting is the fact that there are still so many unknowns about these fighters, particularly when it comes to Cannonier. Both have looked good as of late, but haven’t had many recent tests against elite competition. Cannonier looks like he could be one of the strongest fighters at 185 pounds, but it’s unclear whether his skills will compare with other world-class fighters in the division, none of whom will simply lose by being overpowered.
UFC Copenhagen Fight Odds
- Jack Hermansson (-230) vs. Jared Cannonier (+184)
- Mark Madsen (-650) vs. Danilo Belluardo (+430)
- Gunnar Nelson (+116) vs. Gilbert Burns (-142)
- Ion Cutelaba (+106) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. (-130)
- Michal Oleksiejczuk (-240) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (+192)
- Nicolas Dalby (+126) vs. Alex Oliveira (-152)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
That may be why Hermansson has been installed as a solid favorite. At FanDuel Sportsbook, the Swede is listed at -230, while Cannonier can be backed as a +184 underdog. Those odds make sense, as Hermansson offers a well-rounded mix of skills, while scoring a knockout may be Cannonier’s only path to victory.
Also on the UFC Fight Night 160 main card, undefeated lightweight Mark Madsen (-650) is heavily favored over Danilo Belluardo (+430) in the co-main event, while Gilbert Burns (-142) and Gunnar Nelson (+116) should provide a competitive bout at welterweight.