“I go in there, take control, hold the center, get them backing up, and lay the smack down.”It‘s brash, it‘s bold, it‘s bullheaded, and it sounds like something Brock Lesnar or, more likely, The Rock would bark before doing battle. It‘s certainly a heavyweight‘s mentality, but it‘s actually from a featherweight‘s body. Specifically, the confident quote is from the mouth of 145 pound star-in-the-making Dennis Bermudez. While one can say it‘s easy to talk the talk, if you‘ve seen Saugerties, New York‘s number one cagefighting son scrap, then you know “The Menace” walks the walk too. This aforementioned “come forward and drop the hammer” game plan was on full display in Bermudez‘s most recent outing against the 8-2 Jorge Gurgel prospect Tommy “Wild Card” Hayden at UFC 150. It didn‘t even last a round, but fight fans got to see Bermudez do a little bit of everything, including a neck cranking submission finish with astute authority. “Going into that fight, I was thinking he’s a good guy, but he hasn’t fought anybody,” says Bermudez. “And I went into that fight thinking that I was somebody. That’s what I do.”The tussle was an exciting smorgasbord of punches, kicks, and takedowns, as Hayden and Bermudez flew at each other with what appeared to be a near reckless abandon. As the two dueled for dominance in the opening round, Bermudez blasted Hayden with a front kick to the chest straight out of King Leonidas‘ school of striking in “300”, which sent “Wild Card” into the cage. Moments later, Bermudez sealed the deal with a muscles popping, standing guillotine choke to improve his Octagon record to 2-1 and his overall career to 10-3. “It’s definitely a part of my arsenal, and we work kicks like that in my striking,” tells Bermudez. “I don’t really use it too often, but the distance was there for it and he was backing up. I like to use a big striking move to get guys against the cage and then attack them from there. When I got to the cage, he shot and I got him with the guillotine.”Although the win was short, sweet, and awarded a Submission of the Night bonus, if Bermudez was being critical, his first UFC win against Pablo Garza in May was the better one. “If you look at Garza, he’s a better fighter than Tommy Hayden and there was a lot of adversity in that fight because he‘s 6 foot,” says Bermudez, who won the unanimous decision via superior wrestling with eight of nine takedown attempts successful and 13 guard passes. “I had to climb some different obstacles than I was used to. I think my takedowns were good and there were a lot of them. It was a little cleaner and not as sloppy.”It has been a quick ascension to prominence in professional fighting for a 26-year-old who only started MMA in 2009. Only a few years removed from having to pay to fight as an amateur in Virginia, “The Menace” is preparing for his fourth fight in the UFC and has already collected three bonus checks. Before scoring back-to-back victories inside the Octagon, Bermudez made his debut in a Fight of the Night losing effort to Diego Brandao in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 14, and, while in the house, nabbed the Submission of the Season bonus with a guillotine choke win over Akira Corassani. Without question, Bermudez‘s life has quickly changed for the better since his days working as a personal trainer and a P.C. Richards‘ stock boy while trying to make it as a fighter. “I didn’t really notice at first, but now that I look back it’s been huge,” affirms Bermudez. “Prior to the UFC, I was working two jobs. It used to be a luxury for me and my lady to go out for dinner, but now being in the UFC I can buy things that I want or we can go out when we want or I don’t have to nickel and dime our groceries. This first year in the UFC kind of flew by. It’s nice to say that I’ve been in the UFC for a year now and I can’t wait until next year to say I’ve been in the UFC for two years, then three years, and, eventually, ten years. It definitely went fast. I‘m going to keep climbing the ladder and get to the top. I’m not planning on speeding to the top, but eventually that’s where I want to be, the top. That’s the goal.”Up next for Bermudez, a showdown in Anaheim, California against a fellow wrestler with heavy hands, Matt Grice, at UFC 157. A 31-year-old born and bred in the Oklahoma City area, “The Real One” is in his second stint in the UFC, this time as a featherweight. At 15-4, Grice won a lopsided unanimous decision over Leonard Garcia at UFC on FX in June, grounding the brawling Garcia with relentless takedowns and top control. On paper, it reads like two bulls will clash horns in the center of the Octagon. “I know he’s a wrestler who likes to throw hands, so it should be a good fight because I’m that same guy,” asserts Bermudez. Both fighters have NCAA Division I wrestling experience, with Grice at the University of Oklahoma and Bermudez at Blooms…