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Jared Cannonier finishes Jack Hermansson in second round

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Cannonier attacks Hermansson's legs to end first round (0:24)

Jared Cannonier lands a pair of stiff leg kicks late in Round 1 against Jack Hermansson. For more UFC, sign up here for ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc. (0:24)

Jared Cannonier is not going away.

The former heavyweight -- turned light heavyweight, turned middleweight contender -- scored perhaps the biggest win of his career on Saturday, as he knocked out Jack Hermansson with ground strikes just 27 seconds into the second round. The 185-pound fight headlined UFC Fight Night at Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Cannonier, 35, has risen into middleweight title contention virtually out of nowhere the past 11 months. Since dropping to the weight class in November, Cannonier (13-4) has posted knockout victories over David Branch, Anderson Silva and Hermansson.

"A lot of people are writing me off, probably because they don't know me because I don't run my mouth," Cannonier said. "You're gonna have to watch me do my thing. Eventually it's going to be for the title."

Hermansson (20-5), of Sweden, went into Saturday's headliner potentially just one win away from a title shot. The 31-year-old had won four in a row, including a convincing, five-round decision over former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in April.

Cannonier shut down Hermansson's grappling, however, which is his best weapon. He allowed Hermansson to suplex him to the canvas for a second early in the fight, but popped immediately back to his feet. Cannonier stuffed Hermansson's six other takedown attempts relatively easily.

The finish came shortly after Cannonier dropped Hermansson with a short right uppercut in tight, as Hermansson was pressing forward for a takedown. Hermansson didn't go out from the shot, but Cannonier followed him to the floor and landed hard hammer fists to finish the bout.

"Most people back away and fold under pressure," said Cannonier, who trains out of MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona. "He took it to me. He went for his shots like he said he was going to. He tested me and I rose to the occasion. I thank him for testing me and making me better."

Hermansson suffered his first loss since 2017. Coming into the bout, he had won six of his last seven.