Jack Hermansson was supposed to fight Chris Weidman on Saturday.
Instead, Norwegian UFC middleweight contender Hermansson (20-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) finds himself in limbo. His UFC on ESPN+ 32 main event fight was canceled along with a host of other UFC bouts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As soon as the COVID-19 situation came about, I knew there was uncertainty that fight was going to happen,” Hermansson recently told MMA Junkie. “I try to stay focused and motivated, but I wasn’t shocked when that fight got canceled. It was more expected, actually. Right now, I’m thinking we can make it happen on another date.”
Hermansson continues to train daily, but he is unable to travel to the United States. Though the UFC is interested in keeping the Weidman (14-5 MMA, 10-5 UFC) matchup alive, Hermansson said it’ll have to wait until the promotion holds an international event.
“The UFC is starting to prepare for new events coming up,” Hermansson said. “Right now, that’s the only barrier is the travel issues. … I can’t get over to the States. If they want me to fight at this moment, it’s going to be outside of the States. I don’t think they have that ready yet. Hopefully, we will be able to go into the States pretty soon.”
Weidman isn’t the only possible matchup he’d take. There are two other top middleweight contenders Hermansson is eying. Both names are opponents who have been previously discussed, Hermansson said.
“I’ve always been looking for the biggest names and the biggest fights. I’m always trying to get those. There was a time where we were talking about me and Darren Till fight – and me and (Kelvin) Gastelum were in talks. Of course, there’s Chris Weidman. I’m looking for the biggest names. The guy that has the highest ranking is the guy I want to fight. But you can’t always pick and choose in this business. I’ll take those three guys. I think they are pretty good matchups.”
Whenever, wherever he returns, Hermansson voiced his confidence his next fight will get him back on track. Though he’s coming off a loss to Jared Cannonier in September, “The Joker” predicts he’ll reenter the title discussion in short order. Maybe, that journey will begin on “Fight Island.”
“Definitely. I would love to be on a ‘Fight Island’ card,” Hermansson said. “Not just because I want to fight right now, but because it’s going to be a historic event – a new thing that everyone is going to tune into and see. I would love a shot on that card.”