Dennis Bermudez faces biggest UFC test so far in Clay Guida

UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta said he enjoys the way Long Island’s Dennis Bermudez fights and is excited to see him go up a bigger name in Clay Guida at UFC on Fox 12 on Saturday in San Jose. (Credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez)

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In the negative view, the lowest number of people to watch a UFC fight card on Fox since their deal was consummated in November 2011 is 2.38 million. That was for UFC on Fox 8 in July 2013.

On the positive side, that means well more than 2 million people figure to see Lindenhurst's Dennis Bermudez fight Saturday against Clay Guida on UFC on Fox 12 in San Jose.

One person in particular, and one of the few that really matters, will be watching: UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta.

"Huge fan of his, I love how he fights," Fertitta said of Bermudez. "I love how he brings it. Great personality."

Bermudez is indeed a charismatic figure -- and a potential title challenger in the near future in the increasingly interesting featherweight division where Jose Aldo has been the champion since the UFC added the weight class at the end of 2010.

Bermudez (14-3, 6-1 UFC) brings high energy to the octagon, as does Guida. Bermudez brings a six-fight win streak into the cage on Saturday. Guida (31-11, 11-8) has lost three of his last five fights but is 2-1 since dropping to featherweight.

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Ranked 12th in the featherweight division, Bermudez is tied with Aldo and No. 3 Cub Swanson for the longest active win streak of any 145-pounder in the UFC.

Since losing to Diego Brandao in the Season 14 finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" in December 2011, Bermudez won four fights by decision and two by stoppage. In his last fight -- a third-round TKO of Jimy Hettes at UFC 171 in March -- he became the first UFC featherweight to record three knockdowns in the same fight.

Bermudez's other numbers are equally impressive. His 26 takedowns are the most among UFC featherweights. The 588 total strikes landed are second best (behind Darren Elkins' 619). His 4.53 strikes landed per minute ranks fourth among featherweights in UFC and WEC history. (UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, owned WEC before eventually folding it into the UFC.) And that 91.3 percent takedown defense for Bermudez is second only to the champion Aldo's 91.7

Yet, Bermudez's name rarely makes it into the conversation of the top fighters in his division. That can change with a win on Saturday.

"I think it's going to be a great test for him," Fertitta said. "Kind of a step up, not maybe necessarily from a competition standpoint because he's fought some tough guys, but certainly from a name standpoint, which sometimes means a lot."

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