Sean Strickland has been rising through the ranks and could be considered in the discussion of title contenders if he can get past sixth-ranked Jack Hermansson who is fighting to remain in contention and avoid being relegated to gatekeeper status in the main event of UFC Vegas 47. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.
- When: Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Line: Jack Hermansson (+170) and Sean Strickland (-200); Over 4.5 rounds (-120) and Under 4.5 rounds (-110) odds from Draftkings Sportsbook.
Since first entering the UFC in 2015, the “Joker” Jack Hermansson has made a name for himself as one of the more skilled wrestlers in the middleweight division with wins over noted grapplers including Ronaldo Souza (UD, 2019) and Gerald Meerschaert (sub Rd1, 2018).
Hermansson is 33 years old and has a one-inch reach advantage over Strickland, averaging 4.86 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 45 percent striking accuracy, 3.36 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 54 percent striking defense, 2.09 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 36 percent takedown accuracy, 75 percent takedown defense and 0.6 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
Hermansson has alternated wins and losses in his last five matches, with wins over Edmen Shabazyan (UD, 2021), Kelvin Gastelum (sub Rd1, 2020) and losses to Khamzat Chimaev (Dec, 2021 at Bulldog Fight Night 9 in a wrestling match), Marvin Vettori (UD, 2020) and Jared Cannonier (TKO Rd2, 2019).
Sean “Tarzan” Strickland has grown up in the UFC, first entering the organization in 2015 as a welterweight, going the distance with Kamaru Usman (UD, 2017) at that weight, taking an extended hiatus after a serious motorcycle accident in 2018, returning to the octagon in 2020 as a middleweight and finding success so far in that division.
Strickland is three years younger than Hermansson and averages 5.45 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 40 percent striking accuracy, 3.73 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 66 percent striking defense, 1.32 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 61 percent takedown accuracy, 82 percent takedown defense and 0.3 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
Aside from an unusual loss to Andy Varela (sub Rd1, 2021) at Submission Underground 29, Strickland has gone undefeated in the UFC’s middleweight division including victories over Uriah Hall (UD, 2021), Krzysztof Jotko (UD, 2021), Brendan Allen (TKO Rd2, 2020) and Jack Marshman (UD, 2020).
Jack Hermansson vs. Sean Strickland Narratives
The main narrative heading into this weekend’s main event is how this fight will be a match-up of striker versus wrestler, with the perception that Strickland is primarily a boxer who will be winning this contest while it stays on the feet and that Hermansson is the wrestler who will have the advantage if and when the contest goes to the ground.
Jack Hermansson vs. Sean Strickland Prediction
While the narrative of striker versus wrestler could certainly apply to this fight, Strickland has solid takedown defense and may be better on the ground than perceived and Hermansson has decent striking output and differential and may be able to hold his own on the feet with Strickland, perhaps even more so when considering Strickland’s risk-averse tendency to throw one-twos and not overextend himself with power punches.
Hermansson will likely find it difficult to take down Strickland and even if he does, we don’t see him being able to keep Strickland down or submit him. While we lean toward Strickland to win, we are hesitant to lay the juice in a contest we expect to be much closer than the current line suggests.
Aside from his knockout of Brendan Allen, Strickland has displayed a tendency to play with his food and not go for the kill shot, even when said shot may have been available, going to decision in all but one of his middleweight fights in the UFC, and we anticipate this trend to continue this weekend.
Pick: Over 4.5 rounds (-120)
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