Bermudez will look to bounce back from defeat to Diego Brandao at TUF 14 Finale, with sights on proving he’s a force to be reckoned with in the UFC Featherweight division. Known for his excellent TUF 14 performances against Stephen Bass (TKO) and Akira Corassani (Submission), Dennis Bermudez is fighting out of Lindenhurst, New York, and represents Long Island MMA.
We had an opportunity to interview “The Menace”, who spoke about preparations for May 5th encounter with Pablo Garza, his improved ground game, future in the UFC, and much more.
Make sure to follow Dennis Bermudez on Twitter @MenaceBermudez.
The fight between Pablo Garza and Dennis Bermudez is aired LIVE and FREE on Fuel TV.
You have a big fight coming up this weekend, against Pablo Garza at UFC on FOX 3. Can you talk about your preparations for this fight?
I’ve been working on my Jiu-Jitsu and ground game a lot since the fight with Diego Brandao. I also feel like my striking has improved greatly. My kicks are really heavy now. I train at Long Island MMA, so I’m definitely more than ready for whatever Pablo Garza brings to the Octagon on Saturday.
Can you talk about your mindset coming to this fight, especially after losing to Diego Brandao in the Finale?
I’m feeling very good. You know, that fight against Brandao, I’m not even concerned about it. I wasn’t destroyed or something, I was in control whole fight, so I’m trying to concentrate on positives. I look at it as a win, although I didn’t win that fight.
Personally, I think this fight with Pablo Garza is actually your “true” UFC debut. It’s just that in my personal opinion, TUF Finale events still feel like part of the TV show (note: obviously, not taking anything from Diego Brandao).
Yes, I agree with you. In that aspect, I really feel like everything I ever done will be on the line against Garza. I like being an underdog, and some people might give him an upper hand in certain things, he could have more experience than me… but I have to prove something. I will make a statement against Pablo Garza. This is what really pumps me up.
Do you think that with Pablo Garza’s fighting style, there’s a good chance you will get another Fight of the Night bonus?
Yep. That’s always the goal. Every fight I’m looking to impress, impose my will and dominate.
Do you see any weaknesses in Garza’s game?
Umm, I personally don’t study my opponents. My team trains me for the fight; they make sure I’m always ready.
I’ll rephrase my question; in what area of Mixed Martial Arts, in your opinion, you have an advantage over Pablo Garza?
I think in every aspect. I’m rolling with purple belts, brown belts, black belts. My ground game has improved greatly. My wrestling is top notch, I’ve been one of the best in the country, and my striking is always improving. I’m working with a very strong boxer Chris Algieri, he got very long reach, 140lbs undefeated boxer. So I’m very confident I can win this fight.
Do you think a victory over Pablo Garza would put you on the map in the UFC Featherweight division?
You know, I’m just trying to win. Whatever they give me is okay. But yeah, he’s a tough fighter, and I think every victory in the UFC moves you up in the ladder, especially when fighting someone who made a name for himself as a serious contender.
What are your goals post-TUF? Where do you see yourself at the end of this year?
I want to move up in the ranks and prove everyone that I’m one of the best fighters in the division. I want to win by dominating my opponents, and showcasing my skills as a fighter. And of course, I want to fight as much as possible.
What is your prediction for the fight with Pablo Garza? Submission / KO / Decision?
You know what, I think it might be submission. I’ve been working a lot on my ground game, so he’s definitely up for a surprise in this one.
Great, thanks a lot Dennis. Would you like to thank anyone or mention sponsors?
I would like to thank the crew I’m training with. Gregg DePasquale, Ryan Laflare, Gregor Gillespie, Keith Trimble. And of course, follow me on Twitter @MenaceBermudez. May 5th, let’s make it happen!
Photo: John Porter