Diego Brandao and Dennis Bermudez will meet in the featherweight finals of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale tonight (Dec. 3, 2011) at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, to determine who gets a chance to be the next 145-pound star on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster.
Brandao earned his way inside TUF house in impressive fashion, defeating Jesse Newell just 47 seconds into the first round by vicious knockout, which looked eerily similar to Dan Henderson's knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100. Bermudez, meanwhile, worked a little bit harder to punch his ticket into the house, stopping Jimmie Rivera in the second round via technical knockout after surviving a couple of early scares in round one.
Once inside the house, Brandao ended up on Team Michael Bisping as its first overall pick, while Bermudez ended up on Team Jason Miller, also as its top featherweight pick. Their collision at the Finale, it seemed, was predestined.
And later this evening, their collision course will come to a head as either Brandao -- the hot headed and short tempered fighter -- or Bermudez -- the calm, cool and always collected individual -- will take one step closer to UFC stardom.
Who's it going to be?
Initially, hot-headed Brandao didn't earn friends even within his own team, with his "bad boy" attitude, including his all-out sparring mentality during training sessions. The fiery featherweight has a tendency to let his emotions get the best of him, and now, he will fight on the biggest stage of them all, a live UFC event.
Bright lights, screaming fans, national television: the pressure can be enough to break anyone, let alone an emotionally un-balanced person. In fact, his emotions got the best of him as he tried to take home his own teammate's arm on the show, attempting to teach T.J. Dillishaw a lesson in practice for being cocky.
It doesn't bode well for the man who will stand across from him tonight, Bermudez.
More vidence that he can let his emotions get the best of him, Brandao came out charging toward Steven Siler like a rhino that hadn't been fed for days. He earned the victory in rather impressive fashion, finishing Siler in just 31 seconds. He then took out Brian Caraway with impressive striking and ground-and-pound in the very first round to reach the finale.
Bermudez, throughout the show, was the quiet guy, that one who stayed away from drama, sticking to himself and his team and as far away from drama as possible. He, like Brandao, took care of business inside the Octagon, but made sure to keep to his own business outside of it.
Bermudez dominated his first opponent, Stephen Bass, in the house for a full eight minutes before the referee stepped in to save him from taking anymore punishment. In his next fight, he took out everyone's favorite instigator, Akira Corassani, by putting him to sleep with a nice front choke.
Now, the two will collide as the two number one seeds will face each other for the right to call themselves The Ultimate Fighter.
Will Brandao's emotions get the best of him in the biggest fight of his career to date over the calm and collected Bermudez? And will it all matter once they lock the door behind them and start swinging leather?
In what should prove to be a very explosive fight with two very different personalities, Bermudez will be the lighter to Brandao's short fuse, sparking instant fireworks once contact is made.