“The Joker” believes the victorious Brazilian is “most likely” to face the winner of UFC 245’s main event clash between champion Robert Whittaker and striking supremo Israel Adesanya. But he revealed he’s open to fight “The Eraser” in a title elimination bout should he have his hand raised following his UFC Copenhagen main event clash with Jared Cannonier.
“[Costa is] most likely [to fight or the title next], but I’m going to try and put on a dominant performance this time, and hopefully I can get some good hype behind me,” Hermansson told MMA Fighting’s podcast.
“I’m open to fight Costa in a title elimination fight – that would be cool. But on the other hand, I think it’s great for the UFC if they have a couple of guys that can come up and make interesting title fights, so it might not be the smartest idea to make us fight each other before we fight for the title, because we have interesting fights to look forward to if Costa or I win the title. We’ll see, but Costa is the one I think they will probably put in the next title fight.”
Costa’s stamina has always been highlighted as one of his perceived weaknesses. Consequently, Hermansson believes he would need to adapt his aggressive fighting style for a five-round fight.
“It will be interesting to see how he spends his energy in a five-round fight,” Hermansson said. “In (three-round fights() he goes 100 percent out from the bell. Like in the Romero fight, it was a crazy first minute. If you have a five-round fight, that might not be the plan he would look to execute. He will be able to fight for five rounds, but he will have to lower his pace a little bit. It will be interesting to see if he can handle that. Time will tell.”
Hermansson predicts that Whittaker can beat Costa and his UFC 245 challenger Adesanya, but he claims a meeting between “Stylebender” and Costa will be a relatively close affair.
“I believe Whittaker is going to win, and if that happens, I believe he will continue to be champion,” he said. “It will be interesting if Adesanya wins to see him go up against Costa; I think that could be a very competitive fight, because I think there’s a good chance that Costa will be able to push through Adesanya. I think Costa has a bigger chance to win over Adesanya. That’s what I see.”