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Dennis Bermudez looks to calm 'The Menace' within, fight more relaxed

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most aggressive fighters in the UFC roster, Dennis Bermudez, is looking to change things up a bit.

The eighth-ranked UFC featherweight believes that the style that earned him five Performance of the Night awards also was the reason behind his two-fight losing streak. Bermudez, who fights Rony Jason at this Saturday's UFC Fight Night 92, is looking to fight more relaxed going forward.

"Preparation is still the same, outwork your opponent, and go hard," Bermudez told MMA Fighting. "However, the game plan has changed slightly. I think those two fights that I lost it was because I was so aggressive to a fault. I was kind of walking into things where as now, like if the guy is not going to move forward, I mean, don't chase him. Relax, dude. You got 15 minutes to work. I get in there and I'm trying to make sprint work of the guy, get him tired right away, and try to finish him as fast as I can. Get in there relaxed, man, you got time."

Bermudez was once on a seven fight-wining streak in the UFC that stretched for almost two years. That streak was compiled of wins over game opponents such as Max Holloway, Clay Guida, Matt Grice and Jimy Hettes. But in November 2014, that streak came to an end when Bermudez stepped in the cage with Ricardo Lamas at UFC 180. That fight was followed by another loss to Jeremy Stephens just eight months later at UFC 189.

"With Ricardo Lamas, I walked into a stiff jab," Bermudez said. "It's not that his jab was super duper hard, but when I'm jumping into it, yeah, I mean, I might as well hit myself with a pole, you know.

"And against Jeremy Stephens the fight was won, but the thing is that in my mind I want to go out there, I want to perform. You know, when I wrestled in college, it was break a guy and bury him, so I felt Stephens was broke and went to bury him, and walked in and I was a little careless. But it's all good we've gotten better and now I'll fight a little more cautious, a little more smart."

'The Menace' bounced back from those two loses with a decision victory over top-15 fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri. The 29-year-old fighter hoped to get another ranked opponent following the Kawajiri win, as he looks to climb the featherweight ladder.

"Ideally, after beating 'The Bone Crusher', I was looking to get a ranked opponent, and then, be there for title contention," Bermudez said. "But unfortunately nobody was available, so I took this fight, so, you know, just knock this fight out, beat a ranked guy, and then we're looking for title contention."

Bermudez says he could be two or three fights away from title contention, and admits he's had a tough time getting excited to fight the unranked Jason.

"Yeah, if I'm being honest, it's kind of a tough fight to get excited for, you know," Bermudez explained. "He's not ranked or anything like that. But I'm looking to stake my claim in the 145-pound division, and make an example out of him."

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