Jack Hermansson believes Israel Adesanya wants none of him on the ground.
Adesanya enjoyed his second title defense following a dominant second-round TKO win over Paulo Costa in the UFC 253 headliner this past weekend.
Jared Cannonier appears to be next in line in Adesanya’s mind, especially if he is able to get past former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 next month. However, Adesanya did also mention wanting to test himself on the ground against Hermansson during the post-fight press conference.
While Hermansson — a submission specialist — believes “The Last Stylebender” may want to test himself against a grappler, he doesn’t believe the champion really wants a potential fight with him to be on the ground either.
“He doesn’t want to do that at all. I’m sure he wants to fight me, but I’m one hundred percent sure that he doesn’t want to fight me on the ground,” Hermansson told Submission Radio. “Not a chance. But it’s very likely that he wants a good grappler to test himself against, arguably. But that he wants our fight to go to the ground? He doesn’t want that.
“And I think that we can be honest with each other. He is the superior striker and I am the superior grappler. But at the same time, I feel like I have the wrestling at my side, I have the ground and pound on my side. And I believe it’s easier to create opportunities in the striking than it is in the grappling. So, overall, I see myself as the better fighter.
“I don’t think he could hang with me. You know, the grappling is not as quick and dynamic as the striking. It goes slower. And I’m gonna have 100 percent control in all the situations down there. I don’t see him as a threat on the ground at all. The threat is if he can get up on his feet or not.”
Hermansson Game Plan For Adesanya
So what would Hermansson do if the fight is kept standing against arguably the best striker the sport today?
The “Joker” didn’t reveal a whole lot, but did explain some steps he would take against Adesanya which Costa notably failed in.
“I think you can’t try to read him too much,” Hermansson added. “Adesanya has a lot of feints, and he’s extremely quick as well. So, if you try to read him too much, it’s gonna be hard. So, you’ll have to charge and you’ll have to move your body to get his body in a position that you want, right? So, it’s a game of footwork.
“And with the right footwork, and if you’re coming into the right angles, you can catch him when he’s circling. Without telling too much of what I’m gonna do, I think that’s how you’re gonna catch him. You have to move in the right way to get him to move in the way you want. Don’t stand in front of him, don’t stand still, and don’t try to read him. That’s what you shouldn’t do. As for what you should do, you’ll have to wait and see when I fight him.”
For now, Hermansson must first get past Darren Till who he faces in a UFC Fight Night headliner on December 5th. Hermansson is coming off a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum and has won five of his last six outings.
You can watch the full interview below: