Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Chris Weidman is the type of savage to accept any fight that comes his way, even if it means rematching Yoel Romero at one of the promotion’s upcoming events in mid-May.
Sweden’s Jack Hermansson, however, doesn’t have as many options as his “All American” counterpart. Partly because his career did not have the highs (or lows) of Weidman — yet — but mostly because his travel visa became an issue for his Octagon return.
Global pandemics have a way of doing that to fighters.
“Right now, I’m not sure they will be able to get me a new visa, they are working on it and as soon as things are sorted, and the UFC thinks they can make it happen, so I’m sure they will,” Hermansson told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “I am the matchup that they want, but at the same time they’re trying to get reserves. That was the situation when we were supposed to fight as well. They had a couple of reserves in case I couldn’t make it inside the States, but then they postponed the whole thing anyway.”
Hermansson and Weidman were expected to headline the UFC Oklahoma City mixed martial arts (MMA) event on May 2; however, that was one of a handful of fight cards to get sacrificed to the coronavirus altar when government regulations put an end to live events around the world (and made international travel so difficult).
“It’s hard to have that laser focus,” Hermansson continued. “The motivation is still there, but just the focus where thinking, ‘Am I really going to fight on that day?’ You don’t want to lock yourself into [a date] because everything can change in a second. I’m trying to stay open minded and in good shape and we’ll see what will happen.”
Weidman (14-5) abandoned his post at 185 pounds after getting dropped by Ronaldo Souza at UFC 230 back in late 2018. Unfortunately, his one-and-only fight at light heavyweight resulted in a knockout loss to UFC 247 headliner, Dominick Reyes.
As for Hermansson (20-5), he was perhaps one victory away from securing a middleweight title shot, right up until Jared Cannonier sent him to the canvas at UFC Fight Night 160 last September. The Swede has won four of his last five with three finishes.
Not that it’s up to me, but I’d rather wait for Weidman-Hermansson than get an “All American” patch job, simply because it’s the best fight to make, from a matchmaking perspective.