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UFC 180: Hunt vs. Werdum - Idiot's Guide and Preview to Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas

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As usual, Bloody Elbow brings you the 3 things you need to know about this really good Featherweight bout involving title contender Ricardo Lamas, and TUF standout, Dennis Bermudez.

A caption is worth a thousand more words.
A caption is worth a thousand more words.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Featherweight Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez

3 things you should know

1. Dennis Bermudez was easily the best fighter in his division on TUF 14 and it ain't even close.

Diego Brandao has faced tougher competition, but I consider it a minor miracle that he beat Bermudez. Both guys are somewhat reckless, and can be too aggressive for their own good, but Bermudez has been able to steadily improve over time. While he had some competitive fights with Matt Grice and Max Holloway, he took a real next level step forward with his win over Clay Guida, which he mostly dominated.

Guida has suffered some emphatic losses in his career, but rarely has he been beaten so thoroughly in such a short span of time. Bermudez rocked him early, won points with superior positioning and back control. And that was just in round 1. Dennis finished him in the following round with a RNC.

It's hard to really pin point where Bermudez took his game beyond what he seemed capable of, but while his defense still needs polish, he does a much better job of integrating his striking into his well rounded arsenal. And he doesn't windmill his right hand as much.

2. Ricardo Lamas' TKO finish of Erik Koch just might be one of the most visually brutal finishes MMA has ever seen.

When I think about the fighter Lamas is today as opposed to the guy in the WEC with an amusing name for movie nerds and a TKO loss on his record against Danny Castillo, I always look at that Koch fight. Sure we saw how composed he could be against Jose Aldo in a title fight, but he's been looking like a perennial contender for awhile. And yes, that bloody eye destruction of Koch still makes me squeamish. For whatever reason, I can watch a replay of Anderson Silva breaking all the leg bones on Chris Weidman's shin, or Shogun dislocating his elbow, but watching Lamas turn Erik Koch into a Dario Argento film is just too much.

Perhaps it has something to do with the nature of eyeball violence.

3. Lamas at +155 is just flat out insanity. What are you waiting for? Put down the snapchat, and throw away this month's car payment so that you can pay for 3 month's worth of car payments. And then possibly tar and feather me later...

Every now and then we get a total headscratcher on the betting lines. This is one of them. I vaguely understand why. Lamas didn't look nearly as good beating the unheralded Hacran Dias as Bermudez did beating Clay Guida. But even a surface level analysis like this should certainly consider Lamas' title fight. It's not like he earned it by plagiarizing old wrestling promos. He beat Koch, Hatsu Hioki (who was on a 6 fight win streak at the time), and current contender, Cub Swanson.

Bermudez' record may look good with 7 wins in a row, but his opposition has been far inferior. Opposition he's struggled with, no less. I do believe that Bermudez has improved a lot, but even against Guida, he still keeps his hands too low in the pocket, and is constantly a stationary target for the overhand right. Even though Lamas has been TKO'ed twice, he reacts much better to getting hit. I know loser points don't count for much, but I thought Aldo actually looked good against Lamas. Lamas just put in the perfect performance his game could allow, and kept his poise the whole way through.

So not only can Lamas get his right hand through, but he can take the grappling battle in a scramble. Bermudez is still a handful on the feet because his knees really compliment his boxing, which makes him a nightmare in close quarters. Plus he'll have no problem keeping the bout on the feet. Still, I feel like Bermudez

Prediction

I think Lamas has improved defensively while Bermudez has improved offensively. Lamas would have been good enough to beat Bermudez without said improvements. Ricardo Lamas by Decision.