Pablo Garza throws a kick at Dustin Poirier (photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Two bouts featuring competitors from the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter have been added to the May 5th UFC on Fox 3 card at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Featherweight runner-up Dennis Bermudez will square off against another TUF alum, Pablo Garza, while bantamweight semfinalist Johnny Bedford will face Canadian, Nick Denis, according to UFC.com:
Nick Denis put the rest of the bantamweight division on notice with a devastating 22-second KO of The Night debut in his first UFC outing, while TUF 14's Johnny Bedford won a landslide victory in his last fight at the series finale. Now, these two have verbally agreed to clash at the UFC on FOX event May 5.
In the featherweight division, TUF 14 finalist Dennis Bermudez has agreed to take on Pablo Garza, known for his dynamic fighting style that's seen Octagon finishes via flying knee and flying guillotine.
The proud owner one of MMA's most unique nicknames ("The Ninja of Love") and more unusual fighting styles ("cuddle-jitsu"), Ontario's Nick Denis is nonetheless a very talented bantamweight fighter, and proved it in his UFC debut by knocking out Joseph Sandoval with vicious standing elbows, and that victory coming on the heels of a KO-by-suplex against Bellator vet, Nick Mamalis. Bedford was an early favorite to win his season of TUF, but his inability to deal with the speed of John Dodson led to a KO loss in the semifinal round. Bedford rebounded at the season finale with a one-sided beatdown of Louis Gaudinot, and now takes a big step up in competition against a fellow veteran.
Bermudez, who will be fighting close to home as a resident of Long Island, made it all the way to the finale on TUF, before tapping to an armbar from Diego Brandao in a wild scrap that earned both men Fight of the Night honors. Now getting a chance to prove he deserves a roster spot in the rapidly growing UFC featherweight division, Bermudez will have to shore up his submission defense to avoid the lanky limbs and spidery guard of Garza. Garza competed on the 12th season of TUF, but a decision loss to eventual runner-up Michael Johnson in the opening round denied him entrance to the house. Instead, Garza worked his way up through the regional ranks and before finally getting a Zuffa contract (first in the WEC, and then in the UFC). Although his Zuffa record stands at 2-2 and he's wilted against stronger opponents,, "The Scarecrow" is rarely in a boring fight, and owns one of the most impressive highlight reels around, with a flying knee KO followed up by a flying triangle submission in his first two UFC fights.