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– Painful to listen to

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– Painful to listen to

Jack Hermansson (35) is back in the UFC cage after 14 months. Opponent Joe Pyfer (27) has recently told harrowing details from his upbringing.

MEET TONIGHT: Joe Pyfer (tv) and Jack Hermansson meet in the main fight in the UFC in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Photo: Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC

Sea view

Published: 10/02/2024 14:40

– It has been extremely frustrating to be away for so long, but I had no choice, says Hermansson to VG.

For long periods he has not been able to train due to injuries. Hermansson has not played since December 3, 2022, when there was a loss to Roman Dolidze.

The Swedish-Norwegian fighter is still ranked as the 12th best middleweight in the UFCand has four games left on his contract after last night’s Viaplay– sent settlement in Las Vegas.

Opponent Pyfer stands with three victories out of as many possible after he got a contract in the UFC through the “Dana White’s Contender Series”. The powerful 27-year-old is a man for the future.

CHALLENGER: Joe Pyfer during Friday’s weigh-in in Las Vegas. Photo: Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC

Sea view

– Many will probably say that this is a high-risk fight for you as he is not ranked?

– It’s a big drop, but at the same time it’s a statement to beat Pyfer. He has a lot of “hype” around him, and not least it’s always great to get to play the main game, says Hermansson.

More routine

That the Oslo fighter has a solid position in the UFC is confirmed by the fact that the two will go to the main fight. That means five rounds, something Pyfer has never experienced before.

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– We know very little about how Pyfer fights in the later rounds. I certainly want to believe that it is to my advantage, and something we will exploit, says Hermansson, who has been through a number of five-round fights in a professional career consisting of 23 wins and eight losses.

IN THE WORLD STOP: Jack Hermansson is a couple of wins away from re-entering the title fight picture in the UFC. Here from Friday’s weigh-in. Photo: Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC

Sea view

The documentary series «UFC Journey» has followed Hermansson and Pyfer, and that is where the American talks about growing up.

– It is painful to listen to, but I am happy on his behalf – that he has managed to turn his life in a positive direction. I hope his story can inspire other children in the same situation, says Hermansson.

Pyfer describes his father as “evil and very angry”. His first memories in life are physical violence.

– Slapping, hitting, kicking, pulling the hair, throat… I remember feeling that something was wrong with me. That I was born different and wasn’t meant to be loved, cared for, or respected.

Saved by wrestling

After his parents divorced, he lived with his father. Pyfer did not go to school and claims himself that he was brought up as a “nodding doll”. The violence did not stop. After an argument over a computer game, in which his father allegedly threatened to kill him with a knife, the teenager Pyfer moved out.

– Otherwise it would have ended his, or my, life, describes Pyfer, who lived in a park before the wrestling environment became his salvation.

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He had talent and was finally getting recognition for something.

– I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I know that many people have had it far worse than me, but this is my toughest story, says Pyfer, who has 12 wins and two losses in his professional career.

The father’s, or the family’s, version of what Pyfer tells does not come forward.

On Sunday, he can move up among the ranked middleweights in the world‘s largest MMA organization. Standing in the way of that is Jack Hermansson from Oslo.

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