There were not a lot of viable options were on the table to replace the pneumonia-stricken Yoel Romero against Ronaldo Souza at UFC Fort Lauderdale, but it looks like there will be a new opponent for “Jacare.”
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported late Friday night that verbal agreements are in place for Jack Hermansson to take on the Brazilian submission specialist in a five-round showdown. The report also states that the UFC has promised Jacare a title shot against the Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya/Kelvin Gastelum winner.
Souza (26-6, 1 NC) is coming off a spectacular KO of Chris Weidman in a thrilling bout at UFC 230. The former Strikeforce champion has yet to get that elusive UFC title fight, and his last two losses are to the current champ Whittaker, and potential new interim champ Gastelum. Known for his grappling, Jacare’s previous two victories have come by KO, with Derek Brunson once again stopped by Souza in their January 2018 rematch.
Hermansson (19-4) is on a three-fight winning streak, and in last week’s UFC Philadelphia co-main event he pulled off a stunning guillotine choke finish of Renzo Gracie black belt David Branch. The win took only 49 seconds and marked the biggest victory of his career. Now he has a serious opportunity to cement himself as a legitimate title challenger by taking on one of the division’s longtime top fighters.
Here is the current fight card for UFC Fort Lauderdale, which is set for April 27th on ESPN.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Jack Hermansson
Greg Hardy vs. Dmitrii Smoliakov
Alex Oliveira vs. Mike Perry
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba
John Lineker vs. Cory Sandhagen
Roosevelt Roberts vs. Thomas Gifford
Carla Esparza vs. Virna Jandiroba
Andrei Arlovski vs. Augusto Sakai
Ben Saunders vs. Takashi Sato
Gilbert Burns vs. Eric Wisely
Jim Miller vs. Jason Gonzalez
Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
Court McGee vs. Dhiego Lima