Dropping fist after fist onto the face of Diego Brandao, Dennis Bermudez was mere seconds away from victory, a night of glory on national television and a guaranteed contract in the UFC.
Then it was gone. In a flash.
Bermudez, who lives in Massapequa and fights out of Long Island MMA in Lindenhurst, was being flipped from top to bottom with his left arm caught in the clutches of Brandao. The armbar submission forced Bermudez to tap out immediately with nine seconds left in the first round of the Ultimate Finale to win the featherweight division of season 14 of "The Ultimate Fighter" in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Bermudez (8-3) was dropped with a punch by Brandao earlier in the round but recovered rather quickly. He returned the favor by dropping Brandao (19-7) with a straight right with just less than a minute to go in the first round.
That punch, however, helped set up Brandao's victory.
Brandao would never get back to his feet as Bermudez kept up the offensive attack. With 25 seconds left, Brandao on his back and Bermudez standing, Bermudez moved in to attack on the ground. He landed strikes but Brandao caught Bermudez's left arm, locked in the armbar from his back and flipped Bermudez to get the submission.
Prior to the fight, Bermudez won $25,000 for submission of the season for his win over Akira Corassini.