MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst — and aspiring professional fighter — Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of UFC Fight Night 104’s Dennis Bermudez, who looks to score perhaps the biggest win of his career this Saturday (Feb. 4, 2017) inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran, Dennis Bermudez, is set to battle with fan favorite, Chan Sung Jung, this Saturday (Feb. 4, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 104 inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
While his opponent has definitely earned his reputation as a brawler, Bermudez has put on just as many — if not more — exciting wars in his career. Like his opponent, Bermudez is more than willing to throw down, even if it may not be in his best interest.
This is practically a guaranteed slugfest.
Aside from the excitement factor, this is also a very big match for Bermudez. The Top 10-ranked Featherweight was closing in on a title shot back in 2014 before a pair of losses slowed his momentum, but this could be the victory that gets him back into the immediate title mix.
Let’s take a closer look at his skill set:
Bermudez has packed some decent power behind his shots since his days on TUF, but he’s really refined his striking since then. He hasn’t just improved on his offense, either, as Bermudez had a habit of getting dropped at least once per fight even in wins back at the start of his UFC career.
Some issues still exist, but he’s much better now.
As a shorter, bulky fighter with a wrestling background, Bermudez’s style revolves around closing distance into his effective range. Even when talking about kicks, it’s important to remember that Bermudez has to get closer to his opponent before he can land.
To do so, Bermudez works behind his jab very effectively. Dipping his head to the outside and thus off the center line, Bermudez will move in behind his shoulder while popping jabs to the chest or face. Often, he’ll double or triple up on the strike, allowing him to close more distance.
On the whole, this is a great technique and smart way to close the distance. It helps get Bermudez into range often, where he can fire off power punches or work into the clinch. However, it should be mentioned that both of his losses to Ricardo Lamas and Jeremy Stephens were a direct result of them timing this attack. Lamas met Bermudez’s forward movement with a stiff jab, whereas Stephens jumped into the air with a vicious knee to counter his crouching opponent.
No matter how great a strategy or technique, remaining unpredictable is important.
Regardless, Bermudez builds off the strike well as mentioned. Often, it’s a hard overhand right that follows up the dipping jab, which can snap an opponent’s head back and leave them vulnerable. Alternatively, Bermudez is already crouched, meaning body punches are readily available.
One of the reasons Bermudez is willing to push forward so aggressively is that he welcomes the clinch. Aside from his various takedowns, Bermudez does really excellent work from that position (GIF). He’s able to muscle around his foe and set up hard knees to the body, and Bermudez is always sure to attack on the break. Usually, he looks to land a big right hand as his foes scrambles away from the clinch, but Bermudez will also landing a chopping low kick.
Speaking of, Bermudez’s low kicks are pretty devastating. He sets them up quite well, which is the technique I analyzed in this week’s video.
Lastly, Bermudez has an interesting habit of attacking with front kicks from either leg. If he uses this technique on the offensive, it’s usually with the goal of pushing back his opponent into the fence. Defensively, Bermudez will use the kick as a barrier, preventing his opponent from coming in hard with big punches.
An NCAA Division 1 wrestler and collegiate freestyle All-American, Bermudez’s wrestling has translated incredibly well into the Octagon. He’s landed a very impressive 38 takedowns in his fairly short UFC career, and most of them came in the form of big slams.
Bermudez does his best wrestling along the fence. Often, his shot in the center of the Octagon is solely to drive his opponent into the cage. From that position, Bermudez is in control, and “The Menace” can maintain position to land hard shots or look for a takedown.
Bermudez is definitely capable of overpowering his foe from the clinch, but he’ll usually drop into a single- or double-leg. Against the fence, Bermudez excels at driving into his opponent, allowing him to get deep on the hips. From that position, a slam is inevitable and made easier by Bermudez’s combination of stature and strength.
If Bermudez’s foe is able to spread his legs wide enough to prevent Bermudez from locking his hands, he’ll instead switch to a single. Even then, Bermudez prefers to swim his grip deep and pop his hips in, allowing him to lift his foe into the air and return him to the mat (GIF).
Finally, Bermudez has one of the better snap downs in mixed martial arts (MMA). After sprawling on a his opponent’s shot or breaking his opponent down from the clinch, Bermudez does well to hang his weight on his opponent’s neck. By keeping heavy and mixing in a hard pull to the mat, Bermudez is often able to snap his foe down successfully.
For a man with four submission losses, Bermudez grapples quite well. His sole submission losses in the last five years came immediately after getting dropped by a punch, so it’s pretty safe to say that Bermudez has shored up the defensive holes in his grappling.
From top position, Bermudez has adopted the classic wrestler method of find the neck in any position and squeezing the shit out of it. Most often, this comes in the form of the guillotine choke, as Bermudez’s snap down can feed into the position. The choke itself isn’t all that complicated — Bermudez uses a pretty standard grip and tucks the head under his arm pit — but Bermudez likes to finish by pressing his hips in and crushing. Between the UFC and TUF, this has led to a pair of finishes against the fence, one while standing and the other mounted.
Check out his UFC submission over Tommy Hayden HERE!
Additionally, Bermudez did finish long-time UFC veteran Clay Guida via rear-naked choke that really showed off his strong top game. From top position, Bermudez secured wrist control on Guida’s far arm, trapping that half of his body to the mat. That’s an immensely difficult position to escape from, as a solid wrist ride and hip pressure can completely trap an opponent while leaving the top grappler a free hand to punch.
In a recent and well-known example, Khabib Nurmagomedov pummeled Michael Johnson from that position.
Looking to avoid a similar fate, Guida bucked hard and looked to shake Bermudez off. However, Bermudez was able to maintain back control and capitalized on Guida’s momentarily exposed neck, submitting his foe (GIF).
Bermudez has been somewhat ignored lately despite his aggressive style and solid victories. In the first main event of his career, this is really his moment to make a statement that he’s a potential title challenger, particularly since he holds a win over the interim champion. It’s not exactly now-or-never, but Bermudez does not want to waste this opportunity.
Andrew Richardson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt, is an undefeated amateur fighter who trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. In addition to learning alongside world-class talent, Andrew has scouted opponents and developed winning strategies for several of the sport’s most elite fighters.
Source:: mma mania