The rumor mill has been churning since the March 21 date was announced with many suggesting that a meeting between Leon Edwards and Tyron Woodley, or a clash between Hermansson and Till, could take second centerstage in the English capital.
Although Leon Edwards has underlined his interest in facing Woodley in the London main event, the former champion does not seem enthused. Till — the best known active fighter in the U.K. at the moment — ended a two-fight skid in his last outing when he defied the odds to hand top-rated middleweight Kelvin Gastelum a decision loss in his middleweight debut.
With the pivotal win, Till immediately became hot property in the division and Hermansson admitted that the Liverpudlian would be “the best” assignment he could get at the moment on the back of a loss to Jared Cannonier at UFC Copenhagen.
“I think it’s the best opponent I could face at the moment,” Hermansson told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“I think that’s a fight that would make a lot of fans excited and I think it belongs on the London card. Darren is new in the division he had a great fight against Kelvin Gastelum and I think I would be a good next test for him. I would love that fight.”
Hermansson heaped praise on “The Gorilla” for his performance against Gastelum.
“It was amazing – I thought that was one of his best fights actually. Game plan wise and how he handled the distance – not just keeping the distance but when Gastelum wanted to close it he got close to him and clinched up. I think it was a beautiful executed game plan. I was super impressed with Darren.”
The Swede also revealed that the UFC have shown some interest in putting the fight together. He also highlighted that if a clash between Cannonier and Whittaker is made, a meeting between him and Till would make even more sense.
“I’m not sure where they are in the process right now, but I know Till and Whittaker have been flirting with each other, but I also got some indications that [UFC] like this fight between me and Till, so I’m positive that we will make this happen. I’m going to work for it. There have been some rumors about [Jared] Cannonier and [Robert] Whittaker. If that fight happens I think it’s pretty logical that me and Till would fight. As you said, that fight would determine the best middleweight fighter in Europe, and I think that’s an exciting thought.”
Considering the matchup, “The Joker” pointed to lessons he learned from his defeat to Cannonier that he could take into a contest with Till.
“He’s a great fighter and he’s a well known fighter as well,” said Hermansson.
“He’s a good name to be fighting against. I think it’s an exciting clash of styles as well with me being a little more wrestling and ground heavy and Till being a little bit more of a standup fighter. But something I learned from my last fight with Cannonier was that I’m not going to lock myself into the wrestling or the ground game too much because that takes away from my standup. As you mentioned, the Jacare fight, that was a fight where I was thinking, ‘I don’t need to take this fight to the ground because [Jacare] is the best on the ground,’ right? That made me fight better in the stand up. I feel like in a fight with Till, I would really take my time and not rush the ground game at all. I see us having a good fight and I would love to make that happen.”
Hermansson also underlined that a win over Till would put him right back on course for a title shot.
“I might not be first in line [for a title shot] if I win that fight, but maybe second. I love that thought as well of course. Even though I lost my last fight, I believe I can make some great things happen next year to get back in title contention.”
Check out Jack Hermansson’s appearance on Eurobash. The interview begins at 16:00.