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When we speak to Jack, less than a week has gone since the referee raised Jack’s hand in the air while he was declared the winner against “Jacare” Souza. What came as a surprise to many people was both that he won, but probably more that he was just millimeters away from submitting the BJJ world champion. We are curious about how Jack prepares for a fight with an opponent who is extremely dangerous on the ground. “It’s all about being completely sharp in those situations. I had decided prior to the fight that I would try to take him down, and I did. If I ever feel threatened in a situation like that, I just need to back out of it. I’ve worked very hard to be good in all disciplines of MMA, but there are of course people who are better grapplers than me. But they can’t be so much better that I shouldn’t be on the ground with them, especially not if I’m on top and can use my punches.”


Jack belongs to the Frontline Academy in the Norwegian capital – a place known for many things but not high quality MMA gyms, trainers and fighters. But Jack himself says that he has everything he needs. “I haven’t travelled around a lot or visited many gyms. People have been on me during my whole career about me having to move to the US, but I just realize more and more that my success is coming anyway! Just look at what Conor McGregor has accomplished, and he’s from an even smaller gym, without any well-known fighters at all. I honestly don’t think it would do me any good to go to the American Top Team and train with like 40 pro fighters. I like it here and I have no desire what so ever to live in the USA. Moving there is the last thing I’d want to do. I’d feel terrible and probably wouldn’t be able to perform at all!”

Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports

“A lot of my success has to do with my deep insight in this sport. I understand what I need to do to learn and master specific techniques that I need. That insight is more important than travelling to any ninja coach somewhere in the world. One example is spinning kicks, which I’m trying to add to my game, so I now have a spinning kick session every week with a former Taekwondo national team fighter. Then I will implement it in sparring and eventually it will be an integrated technique in my arsenal. If you want to develop you can basically do it anywhere, as long as you have somewhat competent people around you. My trainings are really tough, and as long as they are tough, I don’t need to go anywhere else.”

“Going out of your comfort zone is something a lot of people talk about, but I think many of them have misinterpreted the concept. It’s about where you put yourself in practice and to always be in challenging positions to ensure maximum development. But it does not mean that you should feel bad outside of practice. There, I think it’s extremely important to feel good and balanced. The more I’ve managed to sort things out in my life, the more I get out of my practices. When my relationship with my girlfriend is in a good place, I perform on top, but if we’ve had a fight, I can’t do anything. That’s at least how I am!”

Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports

Jack was fast after his win, as always, to let the world know what opponents he has in mind next. With his eyes on the belt, it is only the few fighters that are still ahead of him in the middleweight rankings that are of interest. “Isreal (Adesanya) and (Robert) Whittaker will face each other. That leaves Yoel Romero and Kelvin Gastelum. I also mentioned Chris Weidman but I’m acutally ranked higher now, so if I get to chose I’d pick anyone of the others. Romero and Paulo Costa have been booked to fight each other before, so it feels probable that the UFC will arrange that fight, as long as they’re both nice and clean! That’s why Gastelum is the opponent who makes the most sense.”


”Gastelum is a skilled boxer; that’s where he’s best. My skill set is greater than his, and where I’m better is especially with kicks and getting him down on his back. I have a huge advantage there. But his good in scrambles and in defensive wrestling so it will definitely be a big challenge. As long as I use my distance, kicks, takedowns and ground and pound, the victory is mine. Romero is a much tougher fight! He’s unpredictable and covers a lot of distance in his steps, which makes it hard to work with an in-and-out game. Against him it’s all about pressure, pressure, pressure, all the time. You must be in his face every time he’s trying to recover from his attacks. To increase the volume and make him more and more tired, that’s the way to beat him.”

Photo: Robin Hansen Tangen

It has just been a few months of 2019 but it has been an incredible period of time for Jack Hermansson. He went from being a dark horse to suddenly being in the title mix, with a big number of new fans and constant media requests. The question is if he is comfortable with the change. “Sure, I’m comfortable, but it’s also wearing. You get home from a fight, completely exhausted and with a jetlag, and that’s when you have the most to do. The combination wears on you and makes you tired. But at the same time my career is skyrocketing and I appreciate all the attention. It’s something I’ve worked hard for, so I don’t have any problems with it in general. It’s just right after the fights that you can get a bit tired from it.”


The win against Jacare was called the greatest win in Swedish MMA history by many fans, and some said that Jack took over the Swedish throne from Alexander Gustafsson. We asked Jack what he feels about it and what relationship he has with The Mauler. “Alex has done so much for the sport and he’s a great fighter. I’d rather see us sharing the throne than me taking over! I’ve said hi to Alex when we’ve met, but we have never trained together. My training partner Kenneth Berg goes to Allstars from time to time, but I haven’t. As I said before, I prefer to train at home.”

Photo: Robin Hansen Tangen

The most common questions Jack gets are about his Swedish and Norwegian identity. He’s born and raised in Sweden but moved to Norway as a 19-year-old to find a job. As he has had his entire pro MMA career in Norway he feels strongly for the land of the fjords, as well as for his home country. We understand that he likes it in Norway, but we have to ask if he thinks he will ever move back to Sweden. “I’ve established here now with a girlfriend and all, and it’s much easier for me to live here than it is for her to move to Sweden. But I feel an enormous love for Sweden, and of all the places there is to relax and enjoy, Sweden is my number one choice. My family and friends are still there so it’s easy for me to go there and visit; it’s just a few hours travel. So as of now I don’t feel any reason to move back. What I do miss from Sweden is the grocery stores! The variety of supplies is so much better in Sweden, and don’t even get me started on the prices, haha!”

We finish the interview like we always do and ask who Jack would recommend us to interview. “Bas Rutten is great fun! He might not be in the spotlight as much anymore, but he’s still fun. Another guy I’m a big fan of is the commentator, Michael Schiavello! He has a cool personality – I’d love to read an interview with him.”

We thank Jack Hermansson for the interview and look forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store for the future middleweight champion!