Jack Hermansson is now fighting Marvin Vettori tonight.
Jack Hermansson (Left) vs Marvin Vettori (Right)
COVID has once again shuffled the deck in the MMA world, this time changing up the previously announced UFC Vegas 16 main event of Jack Hermansson vs. Kevin Holland that was originally scheduled for Dec. 5. Plans changed when Holland tested positive for COVID and had to withdraw from the fight, opening up the spot for Marvin Vettori to take his place at the last minute. Holland will now go on to face Ronaldo Souza on Dec. 12.
Hermansson (21-5-0) is hoping to earn a potential Middleweight title shot and a win here could help him build his case. While the division has been dominated by Israel Adesanya, he has talked about moving up to Light Heavyweight, which could free up the title. Hermansson is currently the #4 ranked middleweight and would presumably be in the mix for a title bout. First, he has to get through Vettori.
Vettori (15-4-1) has won his last three fights and ranks #13 middleweight. He could present a more formidable challenge to Hermansson, especially on such short notice. A win could help catapult him into consistent top ranked matches and put him one step closer to get a title shot of his own.
The last second switch could ultimately prove disastrous for Hermansson’s future title chances, as Vegas oddsmakers have Vettori as a -140 favorite over Hermansson, who is at +120.
Hermansson will be looking to get Vettori to the ground early and often. Hermansson has been able to win by submission in three out of his last fights and will likely look to implement his impressive guillotine choke. He also has advantages in height and reach and will want to keep some distance between them until he can position himself to grapple.
Vettori, a southpaw, will look to keep things upright and get in quick strikes to overwhelm Hermansson. He can be very evasive and has the ability to wriggle free if Hermansson attempts to take him down.
The fight is taking place at the APEX facility in Las Vegas and can be seen on ESPN+.