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SportsMixed Martial Arts

UFC 171's Dennis Bermudez keeps evolving

UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez at Long Island MMA

UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez at Long Island MMA in Farmingdale during an interview on Feb. 28, 2014. Credit: Newsday/Chris Ware

As their careers begin, MMA fighters get typecasted quicker than actor Frank Vincent in gangster roles.

UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez came to MMA with a background as a collegiate wrestler and a freestyle All-American credit to his name.

Very easy for opponents to look at that and say “Oh, he’s gonna try to take me down.”

But if you watch the body of work put forth by Bermudez in his six UFC fights so far,  you’ll see a little bit of everything. From wrestling to striking to jiu-jitsu to one heck of a wild slugfest against Matt Grice that people still talk about.

“When you train for him, you need to train for everything,” said Keith Trimble, Bermudez’s striking coach at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy. “He’s evolved into a well-rounded fighter.”

Bermudez, the No. 12 ranked featherweight in the UFC, puts his five-fight win streak on the line this Saturday against Jimy Hettes at UFC 171 in Dallas. The fight will air during the prelims on Fox Sports 1 portion of the card, startin at 8 p.m. ET.

“He understands the standup game much better,” Trimble said. “He doesn’t force his punches. Each fight, he gets better and better, and usually stands more and more.”

New York Sports