Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scrappers Dennis Bermudez and Rony Jason will collide this Saturday (Aug. 6, 2016) at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After a lengthy win streak featuring some stellar performances, Bermudez lost a pair of important bouts, though one was a "Fight of the Year" candidate opposite Jeremy Stephens. Since then, Bermudez has gotten back into the win column, though his goals are to get back in the title mix.
It’s something of a surprise that Jason is still competing inside the Octagon, as the Brazilian has lost two of his last four and failed a drug test. Nonetheless, the promotion did him no favors by matching him up with Bermudez, although it is an opportunity for Jason to earn a position in the rankings.
Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men:
Key Wins: Max Holloway (UFC 160), Clay Guida (UFC on FOX 12), Tatsuya Kawajiri (UFC Fight Night 83), Jimy Hettes (UFC 171)
Key Losses: Ricardo Lamas (UFC 180), Jeremy Stephens (UFC 189), Diego Brandao (TUF 14 Finale)
Keys to Victory: Bermudez is a very strong wrestler with some heat behind his punches. An aggressive slugger who likes to maul his opponents on the feet or on the mat, Bermudez is very difficult to stop once he begins attacking.
Despite his success, there is a clear downside to Bermudez's style of fighting. He's got a solid chin, but Bermudez runs into a lot of strikes, and he also leaves himself a bit open on the ground.
"Menace" has been finished in each of five losses.
With that said, Bermudez has the skill and physicality to dominate on the feet or on the mat. The question, however, is whether Jason has a greater chance of submitting Bermudez on the mat and countering him on the feet.
While Bermudez could pursue either path, his best bet is probably to strike with Jason. His opponent often gets wild in exchanges, but Bermudez is the more dangerous and tighter puncher even in a slug fest.
Record: 14-5 (1)
Key Wins: Steven Siler (UFC Fight Night 38), Godofredo Pepey (TUF Brazil Finale), Sam Sicilia (UFC 153)
Key Losses: Jeremy Stephens (UFC Fight Night 32), Robbie Peralta (TUF Brazil 3 Finale)
Keys to Victory: Jason is a dangerous striker with some nasty jiu-jitsu. All in all, Jason has finished 13 of his victories via tapout or knockout.
The odds of Jason winning a decision are even slimmer than usual. In order to defeat Bermudez, the Brazilian will need to catch his opponent with either a big punch or lock him in a sudden submission.
To that end, Jason needs to do his best to make this bout a wild brawl from the get-go. Bermudez doesn't really have a way to avoid exchanges; Jason is too long for him to stay on the outside and just eat kicks.
If Jason forces the issue, Bermudez is forced to choose from the two options outlined earlier: wrestler or brawl. Either way, Jason gives himself a better chance at latching onto his opponent's mistake by forcing him to make his choice immediately.
Should Bermudez choose to wrestle, Jason needs to fight smart. He's an excellent submission fighter, but he also cannot afford to spend too long on his back. Therefore, Jason should attack immediately upon being taken down, but he should also look to work back up and create new scrambles rather than throw up endless triangle attempts after Bermudez establishes top control.
Bottom Line: This should be a pretty fun fight, and it’s reminiscent of the Bermudez-Brandao match up.
Bermudez very nearly secured a title shot when he fought Ricardo Lamas, but he’s now near the back of the line. Against an unranked opponent, this is a must-win, as a loss would boot him from the rankings and leave him at least five bouts from a title shot.
With a win, Bermudez is right back in the mix and should face a fellow top contender next.
This is one of the toughest opponents of Jason’s career, but it’s not a terrible style match up. If the Brazilian can capitalize on his opponent’s iffy defense, Jason can go from losing streak and drug failure to ranked fighter in one fell swoop.
On the other hand, there is a chance that Jason is released with a bad showing.
At UFC Fight Night 92, Dennis Bermudez and Rony Jason will battle in the co-main event. Which fighter will leave the Octagon with the victory?