UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Vettori Preview

This Saturday night, it’s an all European affair when Italy’s Marvin Vettori (15-3-1) steps in to take on Jack Hermansson (21-5) in the middleweight division.

Both fighters will make the walk in the UFC Apex on Saturday night having accepted this fight on short notice. Kevin Holland was originally marked down to fight Hermansson but unfortunately for Holland he contracted Covid-19 and was removed from the fight. In steps Marvin Vettori, “The Italian Dream” has had a very quiet year on the fighting front but that is not from a lack of trying. Vettori must have called out the entire 185-pound roster but only one fight materialised, that was a bout with Karl Roberson last June.

Vettori made light work of Robertson in that fight, he secured a rear naked choke in the first round to take home the win. A split decision loss against the now 185-pound king Israel Adesanya was the last time Vettori has tasted defeat, that was back in 2018.

Since then the Italian has only fought on three occasions, two unanimous decision wins over Cezar Ferreira and Andrew Sanchez, followed by the submission win in his last fight. I feel for Vettori, who is a very good fighter, has not had the best run of fights before entering this fight with Hermansson and that may be a major factor in this encounter.

Hermansson has not been super active this year himself, he pulled off an excellent heel-hook victory over Kelvin Gastelum last July. It was a good response from the Swede who has been brutally knocked out in his previous bout with Jared Cannonier in 2019.

“The Joker” has pulled off most of his victories in recent times by way of submission, Hermansson also has racked up 10 victories by way of knockout in his 26 fights so far. That tells us that the Swede is a very well rounded fighter but it has to be said that his grappling skills outmatch his striking skills overall.

Once this fight hits the mat, I feel Vettori will have to be completely switched on, he can’t afford even the slightest slip up because Hermansson will instantly capitalize. The Italian’s best route for success will be on the feet, he will bring in the confidence knowing that he was capable of bringing a talented guy like Adesanya the full distance.

Being confident and being over confident are two completely different things, and Vettori will have to ensure that his ego is in check for this fight or it could turn into a disastrous night because, in reality, Jack Hermansson is no joke.

Jamahal Hill (8-0) returns to action in the co-main event as he faces off with UFC veteran Ovince Saint Preux (25-14). This could be somewhat of a coming out party for Hill, who spoke with Andy Stevenson earlier this year. OSP will have ideas of his own when he squares off against the undefeated prospect, the Haiti fighter put himself back in the win column with a knockout victory over Alonzo Menifield in his last outing.

Montana De La Rosa (11-6) and Taila Santos (16-1) will throw down the the women’s flyweight division. In the lightweight division Gabriel Benitez (21-8) matches up with Justin Jaynes (16-5), undefeated Roman Dolidze (8-0) fights John Allan (13-5) at 155 pounds. Starting off the main card action is a bout between undefeated Russian, Movsar Evloev (13-0) and the always highly entertaining Nate Landwehr (14-3).

The prelims headliner hosts a bantamweight bout between Louis Smolka (16-7) and Jose Alberto Quiñonez (8-4). “Handsome” Matt Wiman fight for the 17th time under the UFC banner in a lightweight bout. The TUF Season 5 contestant will take on Jordan Leavitt, who has fought on the Contenders Series and will step in to make his UFC debut.

Jimmy Flick (15-5) will make his UFC debut when he takes on Cody Durden (11-2-1) at 125-pounds. Ilia Topuria (9-0) looks to keep his undefeated streak alive, the Georgian prospect will take on Damon Jackson (18-3-1) in the featherweight division. Gian Villante (17-12) continues his heavyweight journey when he goes up against Jack Collier in the opening bout of the evening.

Main Card (BT Sports 1, 9 pm)

Middleweight: Jack Hermansson vs. Marvin Vettori

Light Heavyweight: Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jamahal Hill

Lightweight: Gabriel Benitez vs. Justin Jaynes

Women’s Flyweight: Montana De La Rosa vs. Taila Santos

Light Heavyweight: Roman Dolidze vs. John Allan Arte

Featherweight: Movsar Evloev vs. Nate Landwehr


Preliminary Card (BT Sports 1, 7pm)

Bantamweight: Louis Smolka vs. José Alberto Quiñónez

Lightweight: Matt Wiman vs. Jordan Leavitt

Flyweight: Jimmy Flick vs. Cody Durden

Featherweight: Ilia Topuria vs. Damon Jackson

Heavyweight: Gian Villante vs. Jake Collier

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.