UFC Fight Night - Dennis Bermudez VS Tatsuya Kawajiri - Featherweight Bout

UFC Fight Night - Dennis Bermudez VS Tatsuya Kawajiri - Featherweight Bout

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweights bruisers Dennis Bermudez and Tatsuya Kawajiri scrapped last night (Feb. 21, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 83 inside Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bermudez has struggled lately, but he remained a top-ranked fighter heading into last night's bout. In order to maintain that position, however, "The Menace" needed a strong performance and return to the win column.

 

Though he entered as a fairly significant underdog, Kawajiri did have a massive opportunity on his hands. With a win here, Kawajiri would find himself propelled into the top 10 and likely square off with another high-profile fighter in his next bout.

Bermudez took the center of the Octagon and stalked his opponent around the cage. After about a minute and a half of light exchanges, Bermudez scored with a big takedown but quickly fell out of top position.

Once given that small opportunity, Kawajiri stuck to his game plan of sticking to Bermudez. Bermudez did a nice job preventing Kawajiri from really establishing position and tried to work back up to his feet, but Kawajiri simply staid tight and continued to land takedowns.

That control was the most significant thing of the round, so Kawajiri was likely ahead moving into the second frame.

Bermudez looked to take the momentum back, starting quickly and scoring with some hard shots. The two engaged in some wrestling exchanges, and while neither man really took control and landed a real takedown, Bermudez did batter his opponent throughout.

 

After a few minutes of attempting to force the takedown, Kawajiri was exhausted. Despite his effort, Bermudez won the battle for top control and did a fair amount of damage, taking the round in decisive fashion.

Things were looking desperate for the Japanese veteran heading into the final frame.

Bermudez started the third with a quick takedown, but Kawajiri hung tough and worked back to his feet. Whenever the two split apart, Bermudez tuned his opponent up with some sharp punches, but those separations were brief.

For the rest of the fight, the two men traded positions against the fence. Kawajiri never managed to be offensive, but his toughness and awkwardness prevented Bermudez from ever building to a finish.

Regardless, it was a clear victory for "The Menace."

While it was less than pretty, this was an important win for Bermudez. He needed to get back into the win column, and he can now return to fighting other top contenders.

Really, Bermudez only had one bad moment, when he fell off the back mount and gave up top position. Besides that, he defended takedowns, made his opponent pay for the attempts, and battered his foe with right hands and low kicks.

If Kawajiri wasn't such a veteran, Bermudez likely could have finished his foe.

Considering the fact that Kawajiri had no real advantages on paper, this wasn't a terrible performance for him. Unfortunately, his toughness and insistence on forcing wrestling exchanges made this a ugly fight to watch, but it could've been much worse for "Crusher."

After this loss, it's clear that Kawajiri has no business fighting the true contenders of the division. He's been for a seriously long time and simply cannot hang with the best in the world at 2016.

That's simply how the sport works.

On the bright side, Kawajiri's role of gatekeeper to the top 10 is still viable. There are plenty of Featherweight prospects who need an opponent, so Kawajiri shouldn't be going anywhere unless he chooses to retire.

 

http://www.mmamania.com/

 

Tag: UFC Fight Night Dennis Bermudez Tatsuya Kawajiri Featherweight Bout Cowboy vs Cowboy

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