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The co-main event comes in the Middleweight division, as Jack Hermansson takes on Chris Curtis. Having battled with inconsistency over the past five fights, Hermansson has failed to elevate himself into a contender. Still ranked eight though, the “Joker” has a chance to pick up an important win that could align him with a top five foe next. Meanwhile, coming into this fight as a late replacement is Chris Curtis. A winner of eight straight, three of which have come inside the octagon, Curtis has been on a tear the past two years. Which almost didn’t happen, as he retired on three separate occasions.
This fight should be highly entertaining and is among the top choices to be the “Fight of the Night”. Hermansson is a well rounded fighter, who has a plethora of ways to win. Backed by excellent cardio, Hermansson is technical and active on the feet. Featuring a stiff jab, Hermansson has shown that he can stick behind and win. With good grappling and excellent submissions, Hermansson is dangerous anytime the fight hits the mat. Looking to avoid the ground, is Chris Curtis. An active striker, with legitimate knockout power, Curtis has yet to be challenged on feet. Landing 7.23 significant strikes at a 65% accuracy, and with two of the three UFC wins coming inside the distance, Curtis has proven to be a problem to stand across from. What’s even more problematic for opponents however, is Curtis’ 100% takedown defense. Shrugging off twenty-six attempts, Curtis has simply refused to let opponents get the fight to the ground.
In what should be a fun fight, I’m siding with Curtis. Backed by ungodly takedown defense, Curtis eliminates the grappling portion of Hermansson’s game. Arguably too, the most dangerous portion, as Hermansson has won three of his last five fights via submission. Lacking the necessary power on the feet, Hermansson has often needed to outpoint his foe. Given Curtis has the edge in output and power, I don’t see that happening. So with that said, I predict Curtis to win a back-and-forth fight via knockout.