For 15 minutes, Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice beat each other senseless in their featherweight bout Saturday at UFC 157.
Bermudez won a split decision, but both men banked $50,000 bonuses for “Fight of the Night.” In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, Bermudez discussed the thrilling matchup and more.
On hitting Grice with everything: “I remember in the third round, I was measuring with my left hand and I was replacing that with a straight right right down the pipe. I remember just driving my whole body through it one or two times in a row, like bang, and I measured him again, boom, and let it go. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he made this kind of blood-gurgling sound, and I was like, ‘Man, would you go down?’ I would follow up and then he would hook me. I had to start all over again.”
On Grice taking his best shot: “It was almost -- and I think he could probably say the same thing -- it’s almost discouraging when you hit someone as hard as you can and they’re still standing in front of you. But I just kept hitting him as hard as I can.”
On possibly knocking Grice awake: “My striking coach actually thinks sometimes when I’d hit him again, I was waking him up -- that he might have been out on his feet and when I hit him again, it was waking him up and resparking his sparkplug there. Maybe. I don’t know. I did blast him a few times and he just went from where I hit him right to the cage, and after he hit the cage was able to get some bearings. I wanted him to fall down in the worst way.”
On the advice he received before the final round: “Talking to my corners, they sent me out to the third round like, ‘Dennis, you have to end this fight now. You have to end this fight. If you want to win, you end this fight.’ I went out there thinking I’d lost the first two rounds, but I’m not really too sure. I hit him in the first round 40 times unanswered. That has to have some weight.”
On his mindset during the fight: “Rewatching the fight, my hands were a little bit lower than I would have liked them, but I would call it ‘kill mode,’ where you have one thing on your mind and that’s getting the job done. I’m not thinking about anything else. I’m not thinking about bills, not thinking about girlfriends, not thinking about what I want to do after the fight or what I want to eat. The other guy’s the only thing on my mind. I’m in autopilot mode, ready to kill.”
On whether the bout could be “Fight of the Year”: “Hopefully. That would be really cool, but … the whole fighting in the UFC is a little surreal to me. The whole ‘Ultimate Fighter.’ It’s starting to really sink in now that people really value me and really want to hear what I have to say and really think I’m a cool person when I just think I’m a normal Joe. To be honored with ‘Fight of the Year’ would be astounding, but I’m not really sure if that fight was that or not.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:37:04).