Jack Hermansson is eyeing a fight with former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker as he plots a step-up in competition.
Swedish born-Norwegian Hermansson (22-6) bounced back from his disappointing loss to Marvin Vettori by beating young buck Edmen Shahbazyan (11-2) by a unanimous points decision in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Now with Shahbazyan out of the way, Hermansson has turned his attention to the top of the division as he mulls over his next possible move.
"I want to be fighting guys like Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, the winner of Brunson and Till could be a potential fight, so yeah, those guys," Hermansson said (via MMA Junkie). "It depends when I have a good opponent, but I want one more fight this year for sure. If any of the big guys are ready for me this year, I’m up for it."
It was Hermansson's first victory in 2021, indeed his first win since beating Kelvin Gastelum July 2020, and he had to do it the hard way, after Shahbazyan picked him apart in the stand-up for the majority of the first round.
The 23-year-old found some success early in the second round, only for Hermansson to turn things around and swing the momentum in the other direction, and 'The Joker' admitted it was a relief to get back to winning ways.
"I’m really happy I got the victory, especially after having COVID and stuff. I didn’t know how my body was going to react out there," he added. "I wasn’t happy with the first round of the fight. I couldn’t find my timing or anything like that, but as the fight went, I managed to change my approach and get the fight to the ground and do what I do best."
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