Recently there’s been considerable talk about the title shot prospects of Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson, for good reason, but Dennis Bermudez isn’t far behind in the race. The featherweight has won seven straight fights, since he was defeated by Diego Brandao in the TUF 14 finals, and has moved into the #7 ranking spot. Most recently, he tapped out rugged vet Clay Guida with a second round, rear-naked-choke.
At UFC 180 tonight, Bermudez will throw down with Ricardo Lamas, and a win over the #4th ranked fighter would go a long way in furthering his title shot goals. According to Lamas, however, he believes Bermudez may be a little too focused on facing the champ Jose Aldo, rather than him.
In a recent interview with UFC.com, here is some of what Lamas had to say about Bermudez, and his recent run:
“With Bermudez, he’s kind of in a position where I was not too long ago, where I was striving for a title shot and coming off a nice little win streak,” Lamas said. “He’s a young, tough guy, and he wants to blast through me so he can get to Aldo, and those are the things that I think about. I’m thinking that he’s almost looking past me a little bit because he’s so worried about this title fight, and I think that would be a big mistake for him to make because I’m here, I want another shot at the title, my goal is to be a world champion and I’m the type of person that doesn’t stop until I reach my goals.”
Yes, looking past Lamas would be a huge mistake, as although he was decisioned by Aldo in February, this is a man who has defeated the likes of Erik Koch, Hacran Dias and the aforementioned Swanson. The latter has been putting away the opposition in memorable fashion as of late, but Swanson was tapped out by Lamas in 2011.
Following his loss to Aldo, Lamas returned to the win colum in June, by decisioning Dias. While discussing what the win meant, “The Bully” noted:
“There were a few things about that fight that drove me mentally,” he said. “One obviously was that he (Diaz) is one of Jose Aldo’s training partners, a Nova Uniao guy. Another is that he holds a win over Iuri Alcantara, who is one of the last guys I lost to in the UFC, and I was also just rebounding off a loss. Coming off a loss is always hard and you have to prove yourself right away, so I had a big mental drive to get the W in that fight.”
Title shot implications aside, Lamas-Bermudez could end up being a fantastic fight, as both are aggressive, well rounded fighters. The fight’s gotten lost in the mix a little bit lately, but that doesn’t diminish how memorable it could be.
UFC 180 will be hosted by the Mexico City Arena and will be broadcast on pay-per-view.