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Dennis Bermudez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri targeted for UFC Pittsburgh

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Esther Lin, Sportsfile

The UFC's return to the Steel City is about to get even more interesting.

A bout between Dennis Bermudez and Tatsuya Kawajiri is targeted for UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Means on Feb. 21 in Pittsburgh, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. Bermudez was supposed to fight Maximo Blanco at UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz on Jan. 17, but pulled out due to staph infection.

Bermudez (14-5), one of the top featherweights in the world, is coming off two straight losses to elite opponents Jeremy Stephens (at UFC 189 in July) and Ricardo Lamas. The Long Island, N.Y., resident owns wins over Max Holloway and Clay Guida. Bermudez, 29, and Stephens competed in one of the best fights of 2015, with Stephens winning via third-round flying knee knockout.

Kawajiri (35-8-2) is no stranger to wars himself. The Japanese MMA legend remains a high level 145-pounder after 16 years in the sport. Kawajiri, 37, has won two in a row and eight of his last nine bouts. In the UFC, he has won three of four. Kawajiri competed for PRIDE, DREAM, Shooto and ONE Championship before signing with the UFC in 2013.

UFC Fight Night 82 is headlined by a welterweight bout between Donald Cerrone and Tim Means. Also on the card, Derek Brunson meets Roan Carneiro in a middleweight contender bout.