Manny ‘Bermudez triangle’ Bermudez (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on England native Davey Grant at UFC Fight Night 130 on May 27 in Liverpool.
Bermudez put up a 10 fight win streak in the regional circuit and immediately was considered by many to be signed by the UFC.
“I heard it, but I heard it from all the people I know, so…”
He laughs, figuring they were just being nice.
“I come from a pretty small town and a small community, so everybody knows everybody,” said Norwell’s Bermudez. “And having the people have your back, it’s great, but at the same time, I’ve got to stay focused on what I’m doing. I love all the support, but if everybody told me I sucked, I’d still be doing the same thing I’m doing right now.
Bermudez made his debut against Albert Morales in February. Expectedly he won the bout via submission in the second round to not only earn his first UFC victory but also a UFC contract.
“I started training a while ago and I never thought I’d be fighting overseas like this,” he said. “Even when I thought about fighting in the UFC, it was always different places in the U.S. It was never Europe and stuff like that in my head.”
“One of the things I realized in my debut is that fighting in the Octagon’s a lot calmer than when I fought locally,” he said. “Those fights were just crazy, and when you get into the Octagon, it’s so much more professional and a different pace.”
Bermudez has already face this level of competition as he has already has a win over veteran Saul Almeida who has battled the likes of Matt Bessette, Calvin Kattar and Rob Font before they made it to the UFC.
“He was definitely a tough fight,” Bermudez said. “He’s not a great finisher, but he’s just a tough, durable, tall guy that knows how to win fights. At that point in my career, I knew the UFC was a possibility, but it didn’t feel real. So me fighting Saul was just another fight for me in my head. I learned a lot from that fight; it was one of the few times I’ve gone to a decision.”
“When you get in there, everybody’s got two arms, two legs and no matter how much I’m getting drawn into his game, I’m still there fighting and I’m as much as a pain in the ass to fight against as he is.”
With his next opponent fighting at home, Bermudez become the ‘bad guy’, however that’s not an issue for the ‘Bermudez Triangle’.
“Saul had a pretty good group of people supporting him and there were a couple times I fought in Connecticut against hometown kids,” he said. “You notice it (the boos) on the walkout, but it’s not really a big deal because you can either let some boos get to you or you can focus on the guy trying to kick your face in across the cage from you. (Laughs) I manage to put it in the back of my head, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
“There’s nothing like fighting in front of your friends at home, but at the same time I love the atmosphere of the UFC. I love the professionalism that goes into it, and now it feels like it’s really my job to do all these things. But once the UFC goes into Boston, I would so love to see my friends in the crowd too.”