3 Fights for Dennis Bermudez to Take Next
If there was any confusion over where Dennis Bermudez ranks in the featherweight division, the surging contender validated his status as a top-10 featherweight.
Not only did he continue his winning streak, which currently sits at seven in a row, but he did so in front of a national television audience. He also added a win over a well-known fighter, something that had been missing on his resume during his UFC tenure.
Bermudez thwarted Clay Guida's takedown attempts throughout the fight at UFC on Fox 12 on Saturday. He capped off his performance with a second-round submission victory, becoming only the third man in UFC history to beat Guida by submission.
After the victory, Bermudez called for a title shot in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, but he'll likely need at least one more decisive victory before that happens. Any of the following fights would make a lot of sense for him to take in his next outing to continue his rise to the top.
This fight is all kinds of violence packed into 15 or 25 minutes.
Although Cub Swanson very likely earned a title shot with his victory over Jeremy Stephens, Jose Aldo's injury has put most of the top contenders in a standby pattern. Aldo and Chad Mendes are set to square off in late October, which means we aren't likely to get another featherweight title scrap until 2015.
That means the top featherweight contenders are either going to have to sit on the sidelines without collecting a paycheck or take a fight to stay busy. Given Swanson's love of fighting, I'm willing to bet he'll choose the latter.
The UFC isn't likely to pair up Swanson with another top contender in order to keep the title picture open with options. Pairing him up with Bermudez would give Swanson the chance to stay busy and Bermudez a chance to stamp his ticket to the title picture scene.
Chan Sung Jung
Chan Sung Jung has his own idea of who he'd like to fight next, but that fight may not materialize due to the timing of when The Korean Zombie is planning his return. If the fight with Swanson doesn't happen, there's always a fallback option for The Korean Zombie.
Facing Bermudez would allow Jung to face a top contender without having to facing someone in the featherweight elite for his return fight. Jung has been out of action since his UFC 163 loss due to an injured shoulder and fractured orbital bone.
For Bermudez, it gives him an opponent who's ranked in the Top Five but has been on the sidelines since August of last year. Fans are anxiously awaiting Jung's return, which would provide extra attention for Jung's opponent in his return fight—exposure that a relative unknown (to the non-hardcore fans) like Bermudez could definitely take advantage of.
Ricardo Lamas isn't in line to get another title shot so long as Jose Aldo is champion, given how easily the Brazilian defeated him in their title match at UFC 169. However, Lamas was able to recover his status as a top featherweight by defeating Hacran Dias in June.
A fight between Lamas and Bermudez makes a lot of sense, but it may require some extra waiting by Bermudez, as Lamas is recovering from a broken hand.
Still, it gives Bermudez a high-profile fight against a Top Five featherweight. It's also a very winnable fight for Bermudez. The surging contender has shown the ability to stop the takedown, which would be Lamas' best weapon.
This fight could easily co-main event another UFC on Fox card or be a solid addition to a UFC pay-per-view event once Lamas is healthy.