Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight contenders Ricardo Lamas and Dennis Bermudez attempted to keep building momentum last night (Nov. 15, 2014) at UFC 180 inside Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico.
Lamas suffered a tough decision loss to 145-pound champion Jose Aldo last January, and his rebound performance against Hacran Dias was uninspiring at best. To get back into the proverbial mix, "Bully" needed to put a beatdown on Bermudez.
Although Bermudez entered the bout on a seven-fight win streak, he still wasn't talked about as an immediate title contender. To elevate his name above the likes of Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson, Bermudez had to outclass the toughest test of his career in Lamas.
Unfortunately for "The Menace," he's back at the bottom of the ladder.
Bermudez pursued his opponent around the cage early, as the two traded shots. Bermudez was dictating the center of the Octagon and seemed to be landing the harder shots. While moving back, Lamas kicked out one of Bermudez's legs, knocking him to the mat, but he was not able to capitalize.
The two fighters were back on their feet not long after. Suddenly, Lamas dropped Bermudez with a stiff jab. Bermudez looked to recover by shooting for a takedown, but Lamas hit a lightning quick arm across guillotine.
And just like that, Lamas found a way to win once again.
Lamas simply should never be counted out. He's well-rounded, fairly athletic, and an expert at capitalizing on the opportunities his opponent gives him. In addition, he simply does not quit.
"Bully" really needed a quality win like this. Bermudez was on a serious hot streak and had been destroying guys recently, but Lamas just stole his momentum with a gorgeous submission. He'll still need at least two more high profile victories to get another title shot, but this is a great first step.
For his next fight, I'd like to see Lamas fight Nik Lentz. The two men are excellent wrestlers, and it would be interesting to see how Lamas' striking compares to Lentz's own improved kickboxing.
Ideally, he would fight Conor McGregor, but that's not likely to happen.
Bermudez had shown some holes in his game prior to this bout, but Lamas was the first to really take advantage of them. First and foremost, Bermudez is just too hittable. He's also prone to getting dropped, but has always been able to recover quickly.
Lamas never gave him the opportunity.
Outside of that issue, Bermudez does have the skills to be a top fighter. For his rebound fight, a fight with the loser of McGregor and Dennis Siver would certainly be interesting and test Bermudez's development.
At UFC 180, Ricardo Lamas brought an abrupt stop to Dennis Bermudez's hype train. Can "Bully" work his way back to a UFC title match?
For complete UFC 180: "Werdum vs Hunt" fight results and play-by-play click HERE.