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UFC Brooklyn: Allen Crowder relishes being underdog vs. Greg Hardy

Heavyweight fighter Allen Crowder speaks to reporters at

Heavyweight fighter Allen Crowder speaks to reporters at UFC Brooklyn media day on Thursday. Photo Credit: Mark La Monica

Allen Crowder has 10 more professional fights than Greg Hardy. He’s been doing this since 2014, while Hardy made his pro debut seven months ago.

But, with betting odds for Crowder currently sit at +375, according to Bovada, he will be among the biggest underdogs on the UFC Brooklyn card at Barclays Center on Saturday night.

“I’m always the underdog. I don’t let it bother me. It’s motivation I want to prove that wrong. I want people who bet on me to win even more money, so I’d rather be the underdog.”

Hardy is the big favorite after three pro fights lasting less less than two minutes total in the cage. Crowder said having little footage of Hardy to analyze isn’t an issue since he typically doesn’t study much film before fights, but he says Hardy has one big weapon to watch for.

“The biggest thing is he’s a straight-forward fighter,” Crowder said. “He’s coming in and trying to land that right bomb. That’s all I’ve seen him throw is that right bomb, so my plan is to stick away from that and see where it goes from there.”

Bermudez keeping things light

Life is better at lightweight for Dennis Bermudez.

The Long Island MMA-based fighter is in good spirits ahead of his first bout at 155 pounds, one weight class above the featherweight division he’s fought in since joining the UFC.

“The battle with the scale has been different, I’m not waking up and standing on the scale thinking, ‘man I wish I was one pound lighter.’” Bermudez said.  “My numbers throughout this weight cut are only four or five pounds higher than they usually would be during fight week.

Bermudez wondered whether he should have made the jump in weight sooner.

“My jiu jitsu coach and I were just talking about that last week, what if I have a great fight at lightweight and realize, ‘man, what if I’ve been in the wrong weight class the whole time.’”

Despite living close by, Bermudez is spending fight week at the UFC’s hotel in Manhattan.

“I fought at Nassau Coliseum and it didn’t really set in that it was fight week,” Bermudez said.  “We were all sleeping in our own beds training in our own spots. Not that we didn’t try our hardest, but it just felt like another day.”

‘The Great' talks big

Alexander Hernandez says he respects what his opponent Donald Cerrone has accomplished in the cage, but he believes it’s time for new blood like himself to have their turn.

“With all do respect to him, it’s going to be a violent handoff,” Hernandez said after Wednesday’s open workout. “He’s presented himself as an active participant and entertainer, and I’m on my way to the throne.”

Hernandez (10-1) had fans calling him the next lightweight champion at the workout, but with just two UFC fights under his belt, that seems a way away. Still, he already is willing to talk about current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov among others.

“I think he’s a great fighter, but he’s one-dimensional. His one dimension just happens to be the best there is, so I think my continued evolution, I’ll match him on the ground, defend where others couldn’t defend and expose him on the feet where others couldn’t expose him,” Hernandez said. “I’m constantly evolving himself. That way no matter who they put in front of me, if Khabib’s still around when that time comes then it’ll be Khabib, if it’s (Tony) Ferguson, (Conor) McGregor if it’s a whole new body. I’m more worried about the guys coming behind me than the guys ahead right now. I think there’s a lot of hungry lions coming up.”

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