Hermansson enters this bout determined to bounce back from that loss against Vettori, who is now fighting champion Israel Adesanya. Seeing Vettori make it to a title shot motivates Hermansson and shows him that he’s not far off from earning his own shot at UFC gold.

“If I have a great win against Edmen I should be able to get a fight with one of the top guys in the division and to get back into that title contention discussion,” Hermansson said with a big smile. “By the end of 2021 I see myself with this victory, plus another one against a good opponent and the following year I’m going to be fighting for the title.”

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First things first, Hermansson knows he has to get by Shahbazyan, and he expects their bout on Saturday to be one that fans are going to love.

“I think this is going to be a great fight because Edmen Shahbazyan is a very good fighter. He’s extremely technical, has beautiful standup fighting, and I think that I bring some of the best ground game in the business,” Hermansson said. “Either way of where the fight takes place, I think it’s going to be exciting.”



Watch Hermansson’s middleweight clash with Shahbazyan on the main card of UFC Fight Night: Font vs Garbrandt on ESPN+ at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.