UFC Boise main-card breakdown: Winning night for Bermudez, Price, Mendes and Zingano?

MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom breaks down UFC Fight Night 133’s top bouts, and today, we look at the first four main-card fights.

UFC Fight Night 133 takes place Saturday at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

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Dennis Bermudez (16-8 MMA, 9-6 UFC)

Dennis Bermudez

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 31 Weight: 145 lbs. Reach: 66″
  • Last fight: Split-decision loss to Andre Fili (Dec. 2, 2017)
  • Camp: Long Island MMA (New York)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ “The Ultimate Fighter 14” runner-up

+ NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler

+ 4 KO victories

+ 4 submission wins

+ 4 first-round finishes

+ Consistent pace and pressure

+ Good combination striker

^ Variates levels/punctuates with leg kicks

+ Strong inside of the clinch

^ Good knees and dirty boxing

+ Excellent wrestling ability

^ Superb hips and balance

+ Scrambles well/positionally aware

Rick Glenn (20-5-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC)

Rick Glenn

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 289Weight: 245 lbs. Reach: 70.5″
  • Last fight: Decison loss to Myles Jury (Dec. 31, 2017)
  • Camp: Team Alpha Male (Calirfornia)
  • Stance/striking style: Southpaw/muay Thai
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:

+ Regional MMA titles

+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt

+ 12 KO victories

+ 3 Submission wins

+ 6 first-round finishes

+ Consistent pace and pressure

^ high-volume striker

+ Accurate left hand

+ Active clinch game

^ Knees, elbows, trips and takedowns

+ Good from topside/floats well

^ Deceptively dangerous ground striker

+ Serviceable guard game

Summary:

In a fight that should be fireworks at featherweight, Dennis Bermudez takes on Rick Glenn.

A perrenial all-action fighter at 145 pounds, Bermudez will desperately be looking to halt a three-fight skid and get back on track with a win here. Attempting to crash that party is Glenn, a stalwart of Team Alpha Male who fights beyond his years and is fluent in the language of violence.

Starting off standing, we have a pairing of two offense-first fighters who seldom seek shelter.

Whether Bermudez was battling Jeremy Stephens, Rony Jason or even in his epic war with Matt Grice, you can see the unrelenting will and genetic hard-wiring to move forward that is reminiscent to a prime Roberto Duran.

Employing aggressive doses of in-and-out footwork, Bermudez puts together his punch combinations smoothly, often punctuating them with hard leg kicks. Consistently striking his way inside, the Long Islander loves working his way into the clinch, unabashedly uncorking uppercuts and knees when available.

Although Bermudez has shown improvements to his head positioning and overall defense, his aggression is also what usually gets him off course and into trouble, taking his fair share of counters over the years. Should Bermudez get caught here, he could be giving away more than he realizes.

Enter Glenn.

A deceptively savvy southpaw, Glenn makes up for any perceived athletic shortcomings through a slow-burn style that is effective from multiple ranges. At a distance, Glenn enjoys a reach and length advantage over most of his contemporaries at 145 pounds, plying hard kicks to the head, legs or liver.

The 12-year pro also packs a powerful counter cross, which will typically be accompanied by a solid check-hook that could come into play given the aggressiveness of his counterpart. Glenn also carries a filled out clinch game that he’s not afraid to remind his opponents of, unleashing everything from knees and elbows to trips and takedowns.

In fact, I see Glenn’s knees being particularly potent in this matchup given Bermudez’s stature and the way in which he traditionally enters. Still, he is no slouch in the clinch space himself, and he has a solid takedown game that I suspect he’ll go to against Glenn.

Glenn seems to be further shoring up his MMA wrestling at Team Alpha Male, and his length could pose some problems for the shorter pursuer of the takedown. But Bermudez, who has never let failing on the first or second attempt discourage him before, will be in relentless pursuit of some form of offense, likely forcing Glenn to produce answers.

If Glenn ends up on his back, he uses his length well and has a serviceable guard and half-guard game that he’s shown to create scrambles from when he needs to. And if the Pura Vida BJJ brown belt scores top position, he floats and transitions very well, delivering deceptively devastating ground-and-pound with his 76-inch reach. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old will have to hustle if means to hold down Bermudez, who hand-fights religiously while utilizing the springs in his hips.

The oddsmakers and public seem to be siding with the 15-fight UFC vet, listing Bermudez -185 and Glenn +160 as of this writing.

Despite my official pick, I believe that Glenn is a live dog. Bermudez is not beyond putting himself in danger or dropping fights where he is ahead, and Glenn is the type of guy who will take a mile after an attritive two rounds with just an inch of an opening in the third. I could see Glenn tag Bermudez with a check-hook off the counter or knee on the way in, and even possibly finish things off on the floor from the front-headlock should Bermudez get desperate for a shot.

That said, I’m not sure I’m ready to sell all my stocks in Bermudez or his chin, especially seeing how game he was in taking some quality shots from Andre Fili in his last outing. Ultimately, I see Bermudez’s wrestling acumen deciding the wheres and whens of this fight, earning a tightly contested decision that will require a tooth-and-nail effort from both men.

Official pick: Bermudez by decision

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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