The small town of Uddevalla, Sweden, known for its cultural heritage and natural richness, proudly claims Jack Hermansson as its own. A skilled fighter, he remains a perennial contender in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Growing up alongside six siblings, Hermansson’s early years hinted at the perseverance that would define his successful career in the fighting arena.
At the age of 9, Hermansson began training in Greco-Roman wrestling and later expanded his combat skills to include muay thai and other disciplines. In 2008, he transitioned to mixed martial arts.
Fast forward to the present, and Hermansson stands as a formidable figure in the middleweight division of the UFC. He owns 23 victories—11 by knockout, six by submission and six by decision—and has etched his name in the annals of Cage Warriors Fighting Championship and Warrior Fight Series as a former middleweight titleholder.
“The Joker” currently claims the No. 11 spot in the UFC middleweight rankings. As he prepares for latest clash, Hermansson stands opposite Joseph Pyfer in the UFC Fight Night 236 main event on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Prior to this battle between two formidable contenders, let us examine five of the many moments that have intricately molded Hermansson’s journey:
The defining moment that first cast Hermansson into the spotlight unfolded on a crisp London evening at Cage Warriors 69. “The Joker” stepped inside the cage to face Norman Paraisy for the vacant CWFC middleweight championship on Jun. 7, 2014. Patient in the opening moments, he unleashed calculated flurries, prompting Paraisy’s unsuccessful takedown attempts. Bloodied but undeterred, Hermansson dominated with precision, dropping Paraisy and delivering a ground-and-pound assault in the opening frame of the clash. As the rounds progressed, Hermansson’s controlled chaos intensified. Paraisy, resilient but compromised, survived a rear-naked choke attempt and a relentless onslaught. In the fourth round, Hermansson’s pressure continued, culminating in a takedown, mount and a barrage of elbows. The climax saw Hermansson secure the rear-naked choke, forcing Paraisy's tap and clinching the championship.
The next defining chapter in Hermansson’s journey unfolded on Aug. 1, 2015 at the iconic York Hall in London. Facing off against Karlos Vemola at Warriors Fight Series Hermansson etched another defining moment into his legacy. In a mere 2:08 of the first round, Hermansson showcased his versatility and submission prowess by executing a flawless armbar from the bottom. This tactical masterpiece earned him the prestigious title of the Warrior Fight Series middleweight champion.
Stepping onto the grand stage of the UFC for the first time, Hermansson faced a formidable test against Scott Askham at UFC Fight Night 93 on Sept. 3, 2016, in Hamburg, Germany. In a brutal three-round clash, Hermansson’s debut showcased his ability to grin and bear against top competition in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. While the first round hinted at an extended feeling-out process, Hermansson shifted the narrative in the second with a relentless assault. Sharp punching combos backed Askham against the cage, setting a pace that intensified as the fight progressed. Despite Hermansson’s heavy right hands, Askham displayed resilience, even threatening with a late heel hook. As the final round unfolded, Askham aimed to exploit the submission game, but Hermansson’s defense proved formidable. Returning to the feet, Hermansson continued his quest for a knockout, but Askham’s durability denied him that satisfaction. The unanimous decision victory, with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28, marked Hermansson’s triumphant UFC debut.
In a career-defining clash at UFC Fight Night 150 on April. 27, 2019, Hermansson faced the revered Ronaldo Souza in Sunrise, Florida. Hermansson’s audacious decision to step in as a replacement just four weeks after an impressive victory over David Branch underscored his determination to break into the elite ranks of the middleweight division. Facing the former Strikeforce champion, Hermansson unleashed a striking clinic that left an indelible mark on his career. Dominating the main event slot, he secured a one-sided unanimous decision over Souza, with the judges’ scorecards reading 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47. Not only did “The Joker” amass nearly seven minutes of control time, but his 256 total strikes landed marked the fourth-highest tally ever recorded in a middleweight fight. Fortune indeed favored the bold that night, as Hermansson’s triumph over a respected competitor propelled him into the upper echelons of the division.
Hermansson faced off against Gastelum in a pivotal middleweight co-main event clash at UFC Fight Night 172 on July. 18, 2020. Hermansson aimed to rebound after a loss and solidify his contender status against then No. 7-ranked Gastelum. As the bout commenced at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Gastelum pressed forward, initiating the action. Hermansson responded with precise leg kicks, setting the stage for a sudden turn of events. Dodging a left hand, Hermansson sought to take the fight to the ground. In a swift exchange, Gastelum reversed the position, gaining top control. However, the tables quickly turned as Hermansson capitalized on the ground. In a mere 78 seconds, Hermansson displayed his grappling prowess by isolating Gastelum’s leg and swiftly executing a heel hook. The quick submission left Gastelum with no choice but to tap out, marking a decisive victory for Hermansson.