No. 11-ranked UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez can’t seem to get much respect in the talented 145-pound division, even with an impressive six-fight win streak intact.
Last seen defeating Jimmy Hettes with a “Performance of the Night”-winning TKO at UFC 171 in March, “The Menace” is looking to make a name for himself.
However, he isn’t looking to accomplish that goal by implementing any WWE-style trash talk, a recent trend that has been seeming to work for some fighters. Bermudez told MMA Fighting that he wants to be remembered more for his fighting skills than his mouth:
“I'm not talking smack, not that I'm afraid. I'm trying to be more professional with the sport. I don't want it to be like WWF. I just want to go in and fight. That's what I want to be remembered for, a great fighter."
With that established, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 veteran spoke up about whom he wants as his next opponent, aiming the focus on another featherweight with momentum, Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier:
“[My coaches and manager] all like that fight for me, so I'm down with it. I've had a lot of people on my Twitter, every time he fights, saying Dustin and 'Menace' should fight. Just trying to give the fans what they want. Nothing personal at all. I think Dustin is a real cool dude.”
Poirier, who was last seen blasting Akira Corassani in a “Fight of the Night”-winning affair at the TUF Nations Finale on April 16, is due for a big fight. While he might want a contender who is higher ranked than Bermudez, there’s no doubt it would be a great fight.
Winning would put Bermudez close to a coveted 145-pound title shot, which will next be defended when longtime champion Jose Aldo faces No. 1-ranked Chad Mendes at UFC 175 in a rematch of their UFC 142 contest. While Aldo won the first time, he thinks that Mendes has added enough to his striking game to get the belt his second time around:
"My reason being, last time they fought, Mendes didn't have 'Bang' Ludwig in there, and since 'Bang' came, he's developed knockout power. Now he's a double threat in that he can take a guy down and he can knock you out, too. Before he was kind of like a one-trick-pony."
As for Aldo, Bermudez said he hasn’t been impressed with the champ’s recent efforts:
"He's doing enough to win. He's got a lot of respect in the weight class. I said after his last fight, I saw [matchmaker] Sean Shelby, 'I tell you what. I got some business for him. You can put me in there tomorrow with him.'"
Bermudez might be singing a different tune if he ever gets in the cage with the talented Brazilian. He’ll have to score at least a few more wins over top names to get there first.
What’s next for the bulldozing “Menace?”
Photo: Joshua Lindsey for USA TODAY Sports