UFC Fight Night predictions — Sean Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream


Two middleweights angling to enter the title picture will face off on Saturday night when Sean Strickland and Jack Hermansson clash in the main event of UFC Fight Night from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Hermansson (22-6) once seemed destined to challenge for gold, rattling off four impressive wins in a row including a big win over Jacare Souza. That all came before a September 2019 TKO loss to Jared Cannonier that bumped Hermansson from entering the title picture.

Hermansson proved he was still a force in the division in his next fight, taking less than 80 seconds to submit Kelvin Gastelum with a heel hook. Momentum continued to swing for Hermansson as he lost to Marvin Vettori before beating Edmen Shahbazyan. Now, Hermansson will look to win consecutive fights for the first time since early 2019.

“Sean Strickland is kind of similar to me in the way that he likes to push the pace. He has great conditioning, he’s very durable. I think that’s his biggest strength. Since I also have that kind of strength, I think it nullifies his strength a little bit,” Hermansson told CBS Sports. I feel like I’m a little more precise. I have a higher fight IQ, if you will, because he’s very opportunist and fights without a plan. His looks are always kind of similar in all of his fights. That makes it easier for me to prepare. I obviously see myself as the better grappler as well. When you match us up against each other, I can see some things being quite similar, but I feel like I excel in some parts.”

Check out the full interview with Jack Hermansson below.

Strickland (24-3) is the man with all the momentum coming into the event. He is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, including a win over Uriah Hall in his most recent outing. After spending the bulk of his UFC career at welterweight, Strickland returned to middleweight four fights ago.

The return to 185 pounds came after a two-year layoff driven by injuries suffered in a December 2018 accident in which Strickland was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by a car.

“You’re just shaking your head. It’s just another crazy thing on the Internet. It just happened to be my opponent this time,” Hermansson said of Strickland’s odd behavior. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he got the opportunity to do a deathmatch that he’d agree to it. A fight to the death if the money was right. I feel like he’s the guy who would say, ‘Yes, I would do it.’ Probably.”

A six-fight winning streak, five at 185 pounds, would place Strickland firmly into the conversation of men who could challenge the winner of the upcoming middleweight title rematch between champion Israel Adesanya and former champ Robert Whittaker.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a complete preview of the middleweight showdown on Saturday night below.

Elsewhere on the card, middleweight powerhouse Punahele Soriano is back in a fun matchup with Nick Maximov. Soriano, the 29-year-old native of Hawaii, suffered his first pro defeat last July at the hands of Brendan Allen by decision. Prior to that, Soriano ripped through his first two opponents inside the Octagon by TKO. Maximov, 24, is undefeated at 7-0 and coming off a pair of decision wins to begin his UFC career.

Here’s the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night card, odds

Sean Strickland -220

Jack Hermansson +180

Middleweight

Punahele Soriano -190

Nick Maximov +160

Middleweight

Shavkat Rakhmanov -230

Carlston Harris +190

Welterweight

Brendan Allen -400Sam Alvey +310Light heavyweight
Tresean Gore -150Bryan Battle +125Middleweight
Julian Erosa -310Steven Peterson +250Featherweight

UFC Fight Night viewing information

Date: Feb. 5 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas
Stream: ESPN+

Prediction

Sean Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson: Hermansson is a frustrating fighter because he has all the skills to beat almost anyone on any given night. Still, he has struggled against strong, physical fighters who bring an aggressive gameplan. Strickland fits that bill, with good striking and somewhat overlooked wrestling. This isn’t going to be a battle of finesse, it’s going to be a brawl where Hermansson tries to make Strickland pay for a mistake. Unfortunately for Hermansson, that’s the kind of fight he struggles in. Pick: Sean Strickland via TKO3

Who wins Hermansson vs. Strickland? And what other picks do you need to jump all over? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the insider who’s up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and find out.



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