Jack Hermansson is confident that Paulo Costa will beat Israel Adesanya, a sharp contrast to Dan Hardy’s analysis.
Hardy kicked up a bit of a storm after arguing that Adesanya, Robert Whittaker and Darren Till could all make “powerlifter” Costa look “quite silly.” Hermansson (21-5) has previously stated his belief that Costa will provide a lot of trouble for Adesanya. Catching up with Bloody Elbow following his quick submission win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Island on July 18, Hermansson respectfully disagreed with Hardy’s take.
“I think Dan Hardy is the best in the business. There is no one that has better breakdowns than him, but I think he is wrong there. I think if you see some training footage of Costa he tends to be more technical. I think it’s just in his fights where he gets a little bit wild and, of course, he has an extreme physique that stands out. He can do some stuff that is almost inhuman,” Hermansson argued. “The force and power he comes with and he can maintain it. Usually people like that, we have seen them over the years, they get tired after 30 seconds of that. He can just pour it on you. It is just insane to see. I think that is a very, very tough thing to handle for everybody.”
Hermansson could make for quite the matchmaker after his in-cage career wraps up. “The Joker” has a very reasonable take on the middleweight title picture, arguing that Jared Cannonier (who last beat Hermansson) should be next for the winner of Adesanya vs. Costa. Hermansson also suggested he should fight the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till for number one contender status after Cannonier fights for the middleweight strap.
“That is going to be a really, really cool fight,” he said of a potential clash between Costa and Cannonier. “I’m looking forward to that happening because if there is someone who can take that force that Costa is coming with, it has got to be Cannonier who has fought at heavyweight. He’s not going to overpower him or anything like that because Cannonier is used to huge guys. I think Jared Cannonier is one of the tougher match-ups for Paulo Costa.”
Hermansson scored an eye-opening 78-second submission win over Gastelum. Following the loss, Gastelum said he was “truly embarrassed” by his performance and argued he is “much better than what was shown tonight.” Hermansson tried not to read too hard into Gastelum’s statement.
“He probably thinks, ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ or so but it’s so easy to be clever afterwards. You can see that he kicked out of that heel hook once. He engaged with me again and he probably thought he was going to kick out a second time if he needed to, but it turns out that he couldn’t,” the Swede-Norwegian said. “It would have been smarter for him to disengage and get up in the stand-up game. It’s always like that. You just need to see what happened and learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen the next fight. I’m sure he will do that.”
Hermansson hopes to fight the winner of Saturday’s Whittaker vs. Till event at a future card in October; however, UFC has teased a fight with Adesanya vs. the winner of Whittaker/Till on social media — suggesting the grudge match between Adesanya and Costa is not assured.
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