Dennis Bermudez (17-6) vs. Daren Elkins (23-5)
I am very tempted to say that this is the best bet of the night, but I must admit, I have a gut feeling that I will have a lot to answer to if I am mistaken.
Darren Elkins is on an impressive four fight winning streak, but in his last fight, he was being dominated. MMA fans, like most humans, have a short memory. So many of them remember the remarkable comeback victory, which was definitely something to behold, but they overlook just how pieced up he was getting prior to the comeback. I look at Dennis Bermudez as a slim -210 favorite, and I say, “YES PLEASE.” Bermudez is a very, very tough guy to outfight. Practically all of his losses had him ahead until his opponent landed an unexpected strike, i.e. Jeremy Stephen’s flying knee, or another sudden victory.
I don’t see Elkins knocking Bermudez out, as although he was able to KO Bektic, roughly 70% of Elkins’ 16 UFC fights have gone to a decision, and coming into his fight with Bektic, he only had two KO victories. So Elkins is not a major threat to KO Bermudez, as his base is wrestling.
I feel that Bermudez is a stronger wrestler due to similar wrestling backgrounds and yet a power and speed advantage. So I feel Bermudez is the better grappler, although Elkins is both wily and unpredictable.
My outlook on this fight is: Anything Elkins can do, Bermudez can do better. Conditioning, grappling, standup, movement… But Elkins has an edge, and that’s why I’m afraid to leap: He has the advantage of intangibles, heart, and even fight IQ.
While Bermudez is a very intelligent fighter, he is known to make very untimely mental lapses that costs him fights. If Elkins were to do a repeat comeback performance….Bermudez would be the perfect cast for that supporting role. Because Bermudez is likely to be ahead of the fight, but as the past has shown, he is more than capable of letting his lead slip through his fingertips. And as Elkins has demonstrated, should this happen, he will more than likely catch the victory that the observer believed to be out of his reach.
Logically, Bermudez at -210 is if not the best value bet of the night, in the top two or three….but then again, this is coming from a guy who felt strongly about him heading into his matches with Jeremy Stephens and the Korean Zombie…..so I might just second-guess myself out of an awesome value bet.
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