The middleweight division has a fresh contender.

Jack Hermansson may have looked like an unlikely candidate to co-headline that the UFC’so moment card ESPN, but he demonstrated that he belonged by taking out veteran David Branch in only 49 seconds with a guillotine choke at UFC Philadelphia on Saturday.

An honored grappler, Branch had just been submitted once in his 11-year career, the last time by Rousimar Palhares at March 2011 (he also tapped outside to strikes at a September 2017 bout to Luke Rockhold). The crafty Hermansson looked to be in a different class since he wrestled Branch into the mat and locked into a tight legged which abandoned Branch without a choice except to tap or go to sleep.

This is the third consecutive win for Hermansson (19-4), that also scored a guillotine choke in his last outing against entry specialist Gerald Meerschaert, and a third-round TKO against onetime UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites last March.

Post-fight, “The Joker” asked that his next bout be one that puts him in position for another title shot.

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