Dennis Bermudez vs. Brian Ortega
“I’m back”. This is all the 29 year old Long Islander had to say when asked to describe what this fight meant to him. Bermudez believes he is now on course to get his career back on track after suffering back to back losses heading into Sunday night in Pittsburgh. Despite starting slow, Bermudez made the appropriate and necessary changes that allowed him to take full control of the bout on the mat and standing up earning him the judges decision victory. Bermudez now improves to 8-3 in the UFC with his eight wins tying for second most in the promotions divisional history behind Max Holloway (11). While defeating the No. 12 ranked Featherweight has got fans talking about him again, it doesn’t necessarily propel “The Menace” into the forefront of chomping at top five fighters just yet especially coming off a losing streak. Bermudez needs to prove without a doubt that he is the capable of sealing his place on the ladder before taking any further ascension up it. Rising star Brian “T-City” Ortega is coming off the biggest win of his young career against Diego Brandao, the man who the took the title of Ultimate Fighter out from under Bermudez, and placed himself among the top 15 of the division in doing so. A match-up between both men makes too much sense to ignore and along with it, could produce a potential future contender in the increasingly exciting Featherweight division.
Cody Garbrandt vs. John Lineker
Garbrandt continued to keep his career exciting with a stunning knockout victory over late replacement Augusto Mendes. “No Love” has now won 3 straight in the UFC, while remaining undefeated at 8-0 with seven knockouts under his belt. Garbrandt certainly looks like a fighter that has all the potential in the world to become the next big star in the UFC’s Bantamweight division, and was seemingly robbed of that opportunity when his original opponent and No. 11 ranked Bantamweight John Lineker pulled out of the bout due to illness. However, Lineker and Garbrandt are both in agreement that this fight needs to happen. Lineker asked for as much right after he pulled out of the bout and it was certainly a fight on the card that most fans were looking forward to. It still remains a fight to watch and hopefully we see this matchup signed once again as soon as Lineker gets the ok to return to training.
Derek Brunson vs. Mousasi/Leites winner
Berunson continued to impress Sunday night in putting away the No. 15 ranked Carneiro inside the first round. It was Brunson’s third straight first round knockout which made Brunson a small mark in the history books as it is the third longest streak of its kind in UFC history right behind Shane Carwin (4) and Don Frye (5). Brunson has now gone 6-1 under the UFC banner with his only loss coming to top contender Yoel Romero. Brunson clearly deserves a shot at the top dogs of his division, but with nearly the bulk of the top ten of his division already set for matchups across the spring of 2016, he will have to settle in on the sidelines until some key fights take place. The soonest bout that could determine an opponent for Brunson goes down this Saturday in London as Gegard Mousasi and Thales Leites with compete across the pond as both men are looking to bounce back from tough losses in each of their last bouts.
Donald Cerrone vs. Thiago Alves/ Conor McGregor
Cerrone came back looking as “Cowboy” as ever in his debut at Welterweight against Alex Oliveira, submitting the Brazilian with a terrifically set up triangle choke submission. Cerrone etched himself into history Sunday night as he now holds 22 wins under both the UFC and WEC, the most of any fighter to have competed for both organizations. Cerrone seemed to have fun in there like the “Cowboy” of old, and with barely any pressure from title fights and contenders up over at Welterweight, it’s probably a fair bet that we will see Cerrone at 170 again. If that be the case, why not make it fun. Thiago Alves is slated to return from injury and hot fire matchup like Cerrone and Alves just spells chaos and excitement that no one would want to miss. There is also an alternative at 155 however. With the news Tuesday morning that Rafael dos Anjos had pulled out his fight with Conor McGregor, the opening is there Cerrone. The added intrigue factor? Make it for the UFC Interim Lightweighit title.