Jack Hermansson Motivated by Joe Pyfer Hype Ahead of UFC Fight Night 236

February 11, 2024
It can be painfully obvious when the Ultimate Fighting Championship elects to put its promotional muscle behind one of its up-and-coming athletes.

That was the case heading into UFC Fight Night 236, when Dana White’s Contender Series alum Joe Pyfer appeared to be the focal point of the card. Jack Hermansson, Pyfer’s dance partner in Saturday’s middleweight headliner, was something of the forgotten man. That changed over the course of 25 minutes at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, as “The Joker” refused to play the role of gatekeeper in a unanimous decision triumph against the heavily-hyped Pyfer.

“It definitely motivated me,” Hermansson said on the ESPN+ post-fight show. “I thought to myself, yeah after this fight people are gonna see that I’m no pushover and you can’t just get one of those younger guys in there and think they are just gonna run through me. I definitely took notice of it. It didn’t bother me too much, but of course it was some motivation.”

Pyfer looked confident early, and he had Hermansson on the defensive as he raced out to an early lead on the scorecards. The 17-time Octagon veteran weathered the storm, however, and gradually pulled away as the fight progressed. Prior to Saturday, Pyfer had finished all three of his UFC opponents inside of two rounds.

“We haven’t seen Joe in the later rounds in any of his other fights, but typically if you have a power puncher, you can’t do both,” Hermansson said. “I know I’m a volume striker, I’m a cardio guy. So I figured out that I had that advantage.”

Pyfer’s vaunted punching power was evident in the opening stanza, but Hermansson was able to adapt and avoided taking taking significant damage in the later rounds. “The Joker” has faced big names over the course of his UFC tenure, yet he still acknowledged that Pyfer might have the heaviest hands of anyone he’s fought.

“He probably is the hardest puncher I’ve fought so far,” Hermansson said. “… He hit me too many times. It wasn’t good. I shouldn’t be hit that much. I tried to keep my composure, and I adjusted a little bit in the beginning. I was a little bit too high with my posture. When I sunk in a little bit, it was easier to protect myself from the punches.”Hermansson sees a clear direction in the middleweight division on the heels of his latest triumph.

Nassourdine Imavov should be a good opponent coming up,” Hermansson said. “He won last week and I won this weekend. We’re real close in the rankings, so I think that should be a good matchup.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Jack-Hermansson-Motivated-by-Joe-Pyfer-Hype-Ahead-of-UFC-Fight-Night-236-192587

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