Middleweight contender Jack Hermansson says he's willing to be the backup for the UFC 243 middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya.
"If I get that opportunity (to be
the backup for Whittaker/Adesanya) I will take it," Hermansson told theScore. "It's too big of a deal for me, you know, to get an opportunity like that. If I'm injury-free from my fight, I'll be ready to step in at any moment."
Hermansson (20-4) faces Jared Cannonier a week before UFC 243 in the main event of UFC Copenhagen. "The Joker" has won six of his last seven fights, including a dominant decision victory over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in April, and a win over Cannonier would undoubtedly put him in line for a title shot.
If the Whittaker vs. Adesanya fight goes through and winner finds himself sidelined with injuries for an extended period of time, don't expect Hermansson to wait around. The 31-year-old wants to remain active and says he'd be willing to fight fellow contender Paulo Costa if he beats Souza on Sept. 28.
"There is not a lot of fights that I'd be interested in, but I would fight Costa for sure if they gave me that fight," Hermansson explained. " ... I'm going to be the lighter guy (in that fight) with more movement, more speed, more output. And he's going to be the powerful guy and he's going to go for my head.
"I feel like I have a wider game, I think I'm the smarter fighter, and I would find a way to win that fight for sure."
UFC 243 takes place Oct. 5 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, as middleweight champion Whittaker looks to unify his title against interim champion Adesanya in the main event. Watch the full interview with Hermansson below and subscribe to theScoreMMA Youtube channel here.