Dennis Bermudez calls out Dustin Poirier, thinks Chad Mendes will beat Jose Aldo at UFC 176

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
NEW YORK -- Six-fight winning streaks are hard to come by in the UFC. Yet, somehow, Dennis Bermudez's current streak has gone relatively unnoticed.

Now, the New York-native received some attention following his dominant UFC 171 win over Jimy Hettes in March, his sixth in a row, which tied him with current 145-pound champion Jose Aldo for the longest winning streak in the division.

Still, it was another win over an unranked opponent on a major show's undercard. Needless to say, it's time to step up.

So following a press conference in New York City on Thursday for the UFC's public awareness campaign "Protect Yourself," aimed at spreading the word on the importance of HIV testing and safe sex, particularly for those under 30 years old, Bermudez (13-3) called out fellow featherweight contender Dustin Poirier (16-3).

"[My coaches and manager] all like that fight for me, so I'm down with it," he told MMAFighting.com.

"I've had a lot of people on my Twitter, every time he fights, saying Dustin and 'Menace' should fight. Just trying to give the fans what they want. Nothing personal at all. I think Dustin is a real cool dude.

Bermudez isn't the kind of fighter to call out an opponent, and he did it in the most polite way possible, but he acknowledged that it was time to speak up a little more.

"I was talking to my manager [Ryan Parsons] the other day and he said, 'We need to create a buzz around you. It seems like when you're fighting you get a bit of a buzz, but when you're not fighting no one cares about you.

"I think I'm funny. I think I'm interesting. I try to do cool things and share it with my social media. I was kidding around [with Parson and suggested], Maybe I should get arrested? He was like, No, we don't want to go that avenue.

"I'm not talking smack, not that I'm afraid. I'm trying to be more professional with the sport. I don't want it to be like WWF. I just want to go in and fight. That's what I want to be remembered for, a great fighter."

Bermudez believes he's one or two big wins away from fighting for the belt. Next in line is Chad Mendes, who gets a second crack at Aldo later this summer before Bermudez's first. And guess what? "The Menace" thinks there will be a new featherweight champion come Aug. 2.

"My reason being, last time they fought, Mendes didn't have 'Bang' Ludwig in there, and since 'Bang' came, he's developed knockout power. Now he's a double threat in that he can take a guy down and he can knock you out, too. Before he was kind of like a one-trick-pony."

Bermudez added that he hasn't been particularly impressed with the current champion.

"He's doing enough to win. He's got a lot of respect in the weight class. I said after his last fight, I saw [matchmaker] Sean Shelby, 'I tell you what. I got some business for him. You can put me in there tomorrow with him.'"

For now, though, Bermudez has set his sights on Poirier, who has won his last three fights in a row and recently defeated Akira Corassani last month.

It remains to be seen whether the UFC delivers for arguably the hottest -- and quietest -- fighters in the division.

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