A pivotal middleweight bout between Jack Hermansson and Kelvin Gastelum made up the UFC on ESPN+ 30’s co-main event on Saturday at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi. Hermansson entered the bout ranked No. 6 in the 185-pound weight class while Gastelum sat in the No. 7 slot. Both fighters were looking to rebound after losses and solidify themselves as a contender in the division.
It didn’t take long for the outcome to be decided. Gastelum came out pressuring Hermansson. Hermansson connected with a couple of leg kicks before Gastelum unloaded a combination. Hermansson ducked under a left hand and looked to get the fight to the ground. On the way down, Gastelum reversed the position and gained top control. It would end up being his undoing.
Gastelum was working on standing when Hermansson quickly isolated a leg and applied a heel hook. Seconds later, Gastelum was forced to tap out. The entire fight lasted 78 seconds.
“Every time I step in there there’s so much pressure. Everything I do in my life is working for this goal of becoming the best in the world,” said Hermansson following the submission win. “And when you get there victory, there’s no feeling like that.”
With the win, Hermansson likes where he sits in the division and has a plan to get to a title fight. In his post-fight interview, Hermansson laid out his road map.
“I should fight the winner of that fight between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. I’m going to fight the winner of that fight. You’re going to see Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa. The winner of that fight is going to fight Jared Cannonier and winner between me and Whittaker and Till is going to go for the next title shot,” Hermansson explained.