In Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), win streaks mean a lot. Being that it is the premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world, easy fights are rare. And in a division with as much talent as Featherweight, stringing together wins is a tough task.
Dennis Bermudez, a product of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14, has cobbled together four straight 145-pound wins, most of which came in impressive fashion. And he'll have the opportunity to extend that streak tonight (Weds., Nov. 6, 2013) when he takes on Steven Siler at UFC Fight Night 31, which takes place at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
Bermudez is the only fighter outside the Top 10 in the weight class to have so much success inside the Octagon. It's an interesting position for a talented fighter who initially appeared to be nothing more than a perennial journeyman in the making, good enough to beat most but not the best.
"The Mencae" fits the Featherweight mold almost perfectly. Championship-caliber contemporaries such as Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas have made their names off being overwhelmingly good wrestlers with solid, if not nearly elite, striking. Clearly, Bermudez has a ways to go if he wants to be included in such distinguished company, but he has the tools to get there.
What makes Bermudez such an interesting fighter is just how much he has improved since coming off TUF 14. In times where true talents on TUF are few and far between, Bermudez sticks out as a rare success story from UFC's "reality" show.
And a win over Siler would pay huge dividends toward advancing Bermudez's blossoming career. If he can win, and do so impressively, he will not have only beaten a very game opponent, but he could eclipse a notable name like Charles Oliveira, who currently sits at (or near) No. 10 in most divisional rankings.
Indeed, Bermudez is fully capable of beating his former TUF 14 housemate when they meet at "Fight for Troops 3" on the "Prelims" portion of FOX Sports 1-televised under card. Not only will he boast a significant athletic edge, he has more to gain from a win here, rising to the occasion for perhaps his most meaningful fight to date.
If Bermudez puts it all together, he would be tied with Cub Swanson as the Featherweight with the second-most consecutive wins in UFC. And with another win or two in early 2014, Bermudez could legitimately stake his claim at being a true title contender sooner rather than later.
UFC Fight Night 31 is Dennis Bermudez's staging ground for tangible near-term 145-pound relevance, which is the primary reason he is the "Fighter to Watch" tonight in Kentucky.