UFC 241: Underrated and Overlooked – Bermudez vs. Kenney
This weekend is UFC 241, an event headlined by Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic in a rematch for the heavyweight title. Cormier has defended his title once so far against Derrick Lewis in a shut out contest, meanwhile Stipe has been on the bench waiting for his rematch. It is an interesting battle for sure and something tells me we could be in for a classic.
Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis feature in the co-main event and Yoel Romero vs. Paolo Costa go at it for the violenceweight title on the main card. Both are great match ups, but that’s something we all know. This event is stacked.
Looking further down the card, there is one particular fight that interests me more than most. Manny Bermudez fights Casey Kenney at 140lbs. The fight was initially scheduled at Bantamweight until it was agreed to be a 140lb catchweight bout last minute. Bermudez is currently 14-0 while Kenney is 12-1-1. This truly feels like a contest we may see be run back in the future. Both fighters are young. Highly talented and hungry to get ranked in a stacked division.
Bermudez as I mentioned is 14-0 and is one of, if not the most dangerous submission artist at bantamweight with 11 of his wins coming by submission. With a nickname like the Bermudez Triangle, it’s not hard to see how he got that moniker. His game is to get you to the ground as soon as possible and work his outstanding jiu jitsu.
Bermudez will throw leg kicks, and use good boxing to get on the inside before the inevitable takedown attempt. Many fans find this style boring, I however think Bermudez does it with pure technical beauty, gritty determination and more importantly is always looking for the finish.
Across from him though is a tough and gritty opponent in Kenney. So far he has only had one fight in the UFC, a decision win over former title challenger Ray Borg. Undoubtedly it was an impressive scalp for his first test in the worlds biggest promotion. That said, Borg has not looked a title fighter in his recent outings. Compared to his counter part Kenney is not as prolific a finisher in his career so far. He has gone to decision in 50% of his bouts and has only 1 finish in his last 8 fights. As you can see, the competition ramped up and Kenney’s ability to finished fell off.
That said, do not count out Kenney in this fight. He is extremely well rounded, his striking is excellent, his takedown defence seems decent and if he does finish it can go either way. He most certainly is not a one trick pony. I am by no means saying Bermudez is, but I do think he has one game plan. Kenney on the other hand has a myriad of options at his feet and his ability to adapt during a fight is in my opinion his best asset.
This fight is the classic battle, can a guy who has one particularly outstanding discipline impose his will on his well rounded and durable opponent? We shall have to wait and see. I personally see this being a Bermudez decision win. Kenney appears too durable to be put away by Manny at this stage of his career and Kenney has a good ground game himself.
This fight is low on the card and it is a shame it isn’t featured higher, but considering Cory Sandhagen vs. Raphael Assuncao is only one fight higher than them, you can see this is a stacked card.
Enjoy the violence this weekend!