Jack Hermansson says the UFC struggled to find a replacement for Darren Till after the latter pulled out of their headlining welterweight bout at UFC VEGAS 16 last week due to injury.
According to Hermansson, at least five ranked fighters turned down the fight but the Swede didn’t reveal any names.
“Darren Till pulled out of our fight,” Hermansson said in a statement posted to his Instagram. “That sucks because preparation has been going really well. I’m in the best shape ever. I was really looking forward to fight Darren. I wanted to show you guys that I’m the best middleweight in Europe and that I’m the next true title contender. But what can you do, sh*t happens. So I can only wish Darren Till a good recovery.
“When we got the news, we asked the UFC for a replacement fight. Because yeah, the training camp has been going so good and I really want one more fight this year. So they started asking people above me in the rankings, below me in the rankings and at least five guys turned the fight down.
Fortunately for Hermansson — and the UFC — Kevin Holland accepted the call and will step in as Till’s replacement.
“But one guy was willing to fight and that was Kevin Holland,” Hermansson added. “If you follow the sport you know he is a good up and comer. He’s on a great win streak right now. So I hope that this makes for an exciting fight.”
Holland (20-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC) is on a four-fight winning streak with three finishes while Hermansson (21-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC), 32, is 5-1 in his last six fights and is coming off a big submission win over former interim middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum.
Hermansson is reportedly in the best shape of his career and is looking to make a statement against Holland.
“I’m the best that I’ve ever been,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to make a statement on Dec. 5. Make sure that you guys tune in.”
UFC Vegas 16 will take place next month, Dec. 5 at the APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.