Saturday, February 4th, 2017 in Houston, Texas for UFC Fight Night 104: “Bermudez vs. The Korean Zombie” by Daniel Tom

The opinions expressed in this free content are for entertainment purposes only, as my goal here is to provide analysis for those who enjoy the technical or gaming aspects of our sport. If you choose to gamble, I recommend doing so responsibly and legally as it is at your own risk. Enjoy the fights!

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Dennis Bermudez (16-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 30 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Rony Jason (8-6-16)
  • Camp: Long Island MMA (New York)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 14 Finalist
+   NCAA Div. 1 All-American
+   4 KO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   4 first round finishes
+   Consistent pace & pressure
^   Athletic / well-conditioned
+   Good fundamental footwork
+   Solid combination striker
^   Variates attack levels well
+   Strong inside the clinch
^   Good knees & dirty boxing
+   91% Takedown defense rate
^   Superb hips & base
+   Scrambles well / positionally aware
+   Improved submission defense
^   Excellent hand-fighting
+/-Aggressive in exchanges
^   Heavily forward on front foot

Chan Sung Jung (13-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 29 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Jose Aldo (8-3-13)
  • Camp: Korean Zombie MMA (South Korea)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Kickboxing Experience
^   15-6 Pro record w/ 11 KO’s
+   3 KO victories
+   8 Submission wins
+   7 first round finishes
+   Relentless pace & pressure
^   Standing & on the ground
+   Effective stalker
^   Often shifts stances on attack
+   Dangerous combination striker
^   Wildly flows & variates levels
+   Catches kicks & counters well
+   Underrated wrestling ability
+   Superb transitional grappler
^   Works well from font-headlock
+   Creates scrambles & capitalizes in chaos
+/-Aggressive in exchanges
^   Head often upright
–    1st fight in 42 months


The main event in Houston features a featherweight fight that has fire written all over it as Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez welcomes back “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.

With both men being a part of the division’s most memorable battles, it is fair to say that there is a little bit of added excitement for the hardcore fans who have been following the sport for some time. However, this fight will not be without its intangibles as we have not seen Chan Sung Jung in 42-months.

Serving the mandatory military requirements in his home country of South Korea, Jung would disappear from the scene that he was quickly gaining popularity in after an exciting run toward the title. Although the Korean Zombie would finally get his shot at the champion Jose Aldo, Jung would ultimately lose in an uncharacteristic performance that saw his recently operated shoulder re-separated in the fourth round.

Considering that Jung was off over a year before that last performance, the South Korean has only clocked in one fight in almost five years. Despite that stated, Jung is still well within his prime athletically at 29-years of age and is healthy on all accounts coming into this fight. And although the looming intangible will be Jung’s potential improvements, I will be basing the majority of my analysis off of shown technics and tendencies as per usual.

In a matchup that pits two pressure-fighters against one another, I always find it helpful to forecast which man is more likely to succeed their role of coming forward, as this usually impacts the grand scheme of the fight. In this match, I see Chan Sung Jung being the man who is more likely to play the Matador. Not only did he show to measure his striking approach upon entering the big show, but I believe Jung will be less equipped within the realm of timing and comfort given his lengthy layoff.

For this reason, striking tends to require more dusting off than grappling does due to it’s nature of timing, speed, and consequence. Couple that with the fact that Jung will probably have to be worrying about his opponent’s looming double-leg shot, we may see the South Korean come out to a slightly slower start.

On the other side of my theory is Dennis Bermudez, a fighter who has a long history of pressure-fighting opponent’s to draw from as you can seldom see him taking a single step back against one of them. Whether he is facing Jeremy Stephens, Rony Jason, or even in his epic battle with Matt Grice, you can see the unrelenting will and genetic hardwiring to move forward that is reminiscent to a prime Roberto Duran.

Employing aggressive doses of in-and-out footwork, Dennis puts together his punch combinations smoothly as he often punctuates them with hard leg kicks. Consistently striking his way inside, Bermudez loves working in the clinch as he unabashedly uncorks uppercuts and knees. Although Dennis has shown improvements to his head positioning and overall defense, the Long Islander’s inherent aggression is what usually gets him off course and into trouble as I see counter strikes being his biggest threat here.

Despite The Korean Zombie primarily being known for his aggressive and sporadic bursts, he showed us in his fight with Mark Hominick that he is more than capable of countering with effect. In fact, for a fighter who’s biggest criticism is his lack of head movement, Jung demonstrated the edition of a nice slip-and-rip when entering the UFC as he will often slip to his right and come back to the body or with an uppercut up the middle.

When you consider that counter right hands are a common culprit for Bermudez, that will certainly be the strike set up to look for from the South Korean. Jung also throws a flying knee that is much more than window dressing, as I suspect this will also be worth watching for, especially given the aggressive tendencies of his opposition.

Not only does Bermudez’s aggression make him more hittable, but he also tends to keep his weight heavily on his front foot. Traditionally, this head-first approach opens him up to leg kicks and other right-sided attacks such as uppercuts and knees. We saw all of these things demonstrated to great effect in his fight with Jeremy Stephens as history could repeat itself should Bermudez fall into his third round tunnel-vision.

Even though Bermudez is typically the one who is pushing toward the fence(as it may serve him well in this match), he will need to be careful not to allow himself to be one with his back to the cage as this is the Korean Zombie’s preferred kill zone. Anytime he can corral his opposition in the space between the cage and inner-black Octagon lines, Jung morphs into a non-disseminating offensive marauder as he goes to work on any available piece of flesh.

On the floor and inside of the grappling exchanges is where I feel the stakes and speed of this fight will raise. Though I suspect that both men will have intentions to grapple, their agendas will likely differ. Chan Sung Jung, for example, likes to create scrambles so that he can capitalize inside of the chaos, whereas Bermudez, prefers positional rides to control his opposition as he uses ground strikes and elbows to cook what he catches.

Considering the wrestling acumen of Bermudez backed by his stout and sturdy base, he will likely be the one deciding the majority of “when’s
and “where’s” in this fight. Against Jung, Bermudez may be better suited for conducting action from the clinch as I see traditional shot entries giving way to potentially troubling scenarios for the New York Native.

Even though Bermudez times his level changes well, he could be playing with fire should he get stuffed on a shot as the Korean Zombie makes his money from a front-headlock. Whether he is setting up the Brabo chokes or back takes, Bermudez could quickly find himself in the undertow of a turning tide should he turtle and or take a break at the inopportune time.

In Bermudez’s defense, he has only been submitted once in the past 5-years, and that was after being rocked by a punch as he was put away by one of the division’s best(Ricardo Lamas). Since then, we have seen dangerous submission threats like Tatsuya Kawajiri and Rony Jason get a hold of Bermudez’s neck only to be thwarted by intelligent defensive hand-fighting.

In fact, Bermudez has shown improvements to his overall positional awareness as he shows good fundamentals when fighting inside of the guard and elsewhere. That said, Bermudez’s instincts may still get the better of him if Jung can force a scramble from the bottom, as Bermudez’s base inherently causes him to re-wrestle for shots in these scenarios.

Despite the aforementioned positional presence of Bermudez, Jung has shown a knack for disrupting bases from the bottom since his early days. In his 2009 Sengoku bout with Matt Jaggers, Jung would utilize a leg-hook from his guard to debase and off balance his opponent, allowing him to sneak his leg over the shoulder for a triangle choke catch. Although leg-hooks are often avoided in MMA by fighters due to the threat of gloves getting your arm trapped, Jung has been successful with this technique throughout his career.

Regardless of who has a better start, or even who controls the cruising altitude, this fight is a stylistic shit storm that will likely blow both ways before a winner is determined. And as much as I would love to see the Korean Zombie come out on top, it is hard to back any fighter with confidence in his spot considering the potential flags attached.

Though the technical analysis points to Bermudez taking a fun, back-and-forth decision, I do not blame you for taking a shot on the Jung—submission prop as I see that being where the value lies from a gaming perspective. Ultimately, I recommend you keep your plays light and your glasses full for what could be an instant classic from two of featherweight’s finest.

Official Pick: Bermudez – Decision

Official Outcome: Jung – KO (round 1)

Alexa Grasso (9-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’5 Age: 23 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Heather Clark (11-15-16)
  • Camp: LOBO Gym (Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Title
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   BJJ Blue Belt
+   4 KO victories
+   4 first round finishes
+   Consistent pace & pressure
^   High-volume striker
+   Excellent footwork
^   Cuts angles & moves well laterally
+   Puts together punches well
^   Punctuates w/accurate kicks
+   Strikes well off the breaks
+   Solid wrestling fundamentals
^   Good application of over/under-hooks
+   Demonstrates good guard work
+   Improved get-up urgency & technics

Felice Herrig (11-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’4″ Age: 32 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Kailin Curran (7-23-16)
  • Camp: Team Curran (Illinois)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Multiple Kickboxing Accolades
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   1 KO victory
+   4 Submission wins
+   3 first round finishes
+   Solid kicking variety
^   Teeps & Thai kicks
+   Physically strong in clinch
^   Good trips & knees
+   Catches kicks & counters well
+   Transitions well from half-guard
+   Always looks for the back
+   Deceptively dangerous guard
^   Excellent leg dexterity
+   Solid chin
+/-1 fight in 22 months


The co-main event in Houston is a battle between two strawweights as Alexa Grasso takes on Felice Herrig.

A rising star that has been on many of radars, Alexa Grasso has certainly caught the attention of her country and hardcore MMA fans alike. Now given another tough opponent in a high-profile spot, Grasso will attempt to make good on the promise of her skills and the hope it brings to many.

Standing in her way is Felice Herrig, a veteran of women’s MMA who has grown alongside the sport. Showing a recent renaissance of her own after taking some time off, Herrig will look to halt the rise of Grasso and get back on a consistent track upwards.

Starting off on the feet, I give an overall edge to Grasso as I feel she is the more technical striker who throws with more volume and consistency. Doing a good job of keeping her feet underneath her, Grasso will cut angles to her opponent’s weak side to exit or counter. Utilizing excellent lateral movement, you can see the dividends of a childhood spent training and drilling as Grasso executes with composure.

Putting together her punches from left-to-right, Grasso displays the understanding and applications of striking flows as she often punctuates her combinations with accurate kicks. Although Grasso still tends to get caught upright coming in, she has made measurable improvements in that area in recent years, moving her head off center with her punches.

Despite Grasso likely having an advantage at boxing range, she will need to stay disciplined with her defense as Herrig is one of the division’s harder hitters. One of the many females who would probably be better suited for a flyweight division, Herrig has only added to her physicality in recent years. Though she is more than capable at boxing range, Herrig tends to throw in singles as she may have more success at a kicking distance.

Typically throwing Thai kicks to the legs and body, Herrig will also mix in a powerful teep kick as it is arguably her most effective weapon at range. In facing a striker like Grasso who will occasionally square her stance when entering or exchanging, Herrig’s teep kicks may serve her well as I suspect we will see them in this fight. That said, I feel that Herrig’s best chances may come in the clinch.

With competent clinch fighting being a carryover that is common from Muay Thai, Herrig translates her strength nicely as she mixes in knees with trips and takedown attempts. However, these techniques may not come so easy when you consider how active of a clinch striker Grasso is. Not only does Grasso have a knack for finding leverage with her knees in tight, but she does a deceptive job of applying under or over-hooks to her advantage.

In recent years, we have seen Grasso make improvements to her wrestling fundamentals as she shows to meld them smoothly into MMA. Utilizing a variation between a collar-tie and half-Thai plum to frame, Grasso will create space inside the clinch and strike off the break as she escapes her opponent’s grasp. If Herrig does not show an answer to stifle this behavior, she may be in for a long night.

Herrig’s best shot of getting it to the ground may be by catching a kick, as this is how she has scored most of her takedowns in MMA. But when you consider that Grasso usually throws inside leg kicks or head kicks, the catches for Herrig may not come as easy since those counters usually work best on outside leg and body kicks. That said, things could get interesting should Herrig get on top.

Although Grasso’s get-up technics and urgency have improved, we have still not seen a lot of relevant ground footage in recent years. If Grasso cannot get up and is forced to fight from her back, she offers some slick and active guard work that won’t make it an easy night for Herrig. However, if Grasso cannot get a guard retention and finds herself in Herrig’s half-guard, we will likely see the Mexican scrapper tested.

Commanding an underrated ground game, Herrig transitions particularly well from half-guard as she displays good pressure from topside whether she is playing positionally or looking to strike and advance. But as good as Herrig is from certain positions, she will leave openings for rebuttal as position reversals are a common theme amongst her fights.

If Grasso is continuing to advance her ground game, she may have ample opportunity to display it here. Although I see this ‘showcase fight’ as being much more competitive than the oddsmakers have it, you cannot deny that there is something special brewing inside of Alexa Grasso as I see her pace and output making the difference on the scorecards.

Official Pick: Grasso – Decision

Official Outcome: Herrig – Decision

Abel Trujillo (15-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 33 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Jordan Rinaldi (5-29-16)
  • Camp: CSMMA (South Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   4x NAIA All-American Wrestler
+   7 KO victories
+   3 Submission wins
+   6 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Deceptive distance closer
+   Improved striking technique
+   Dangerous right hand–left hook
+   Strong inside the clinch
+   Explosive power double takedown
+   Improved ground technics
^   Accurate & effective ground striker
+/-Willingness to trade
^   Counter availabilities
–    Gas tank bares watching

James Vick (9-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’3″ Age: 29 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: KO loss / Beneil Dariush (6-4-16)
  • Camp: Team Lloyd Irvin (Texas)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   2x Golden Gloves Champion
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   4 Submission wins
+   1 KO victory
+   5 first round finishes
+   Consistent pace & pressure
^   Athletic / well-conditioned
+   High-volume striker
^   Puts together punches nicely
+   Strikes well of the breaks
+   Improved clinch work
+   Underrated grappling ability
+   Good get-up urgency & technics
–    Head often upright
^   Counter availabilities


In a potential barnburner in the lightweight division, Abel Trujillo is set to collide with James Vick.

An imposing force in the division for some years, Abel Trujillo has struggled with consistency in regards to winning streaks. Looking to set the record straight with three wins in a row, Trujillo will seek to make a statement with this main card slot.

Also in the hunt for the spotlight is James Vick, a formerly undefeated fighter who is attempting to turn things around in his home state of Texas. Suffering the first loss of his professional career last summer, Vick took time off to re-tool but is back with vengeance and vigor.

Starting off on the feet, we essential have two fighters who will be more than willing to engage as they go about it in different ways. More of a slugger by nature, Trujillo will stalk his opposition with feints as he looks for the opportune time to explode forward with crosses and hooks. Refining his raw power under the tutelage of Henri Hooft, we have seen improvements to Trujillo’s overall striking technique as he moves much more smoothly.

However, the South Floridian powerhouse will have his work cut out for him when trying to corral James Vick. Despite the fact that he is a 6-foot 3-inch lightweight, Vick is one of the more active movers amongst his contemporaries in regards to footwork and volume. Utilizing lateral movement, Vick evades a majority of strikes and shot attempts by nature as his length allows him to counter from various ranges.

That said, Vick has a tendency to circle the outside of the cage when moving like this. Against a fighter like Abel Trujillo, Vick will be playing with fire anytime he steps in between the fence and inner-black Octagon lines as that is where Abel does most of his eating. Couple that with the upright nature and propensities of Vick’s defense, this is the space where Trujillo has his best shot to close the show.

Aside from those instances, I see Vick having the edge in almost all other ranges. Working well off of his long jab, Vick will either pull-and-return with his prey or put together 3-4 punch combinations. Vick is also deceptively accurate with his right hand as he adjusts the angles on his crosses or goes to an uppercut when appropriate. If Trujillo cannot put his opponent out on the feet, then I feel that the volume and flow of Vick will pay huge dividends as this fight progresses.

Where I feel Trujillo may have his biggest potential advantage is on the floor. A former NAIA All-American wrestler, Trujillo has added to the wrestling game he came into MMA with under the care of Neil Melanson. Although the Blackzillian’s have seemingly split into two factions, Trujillo appears to be still working with Melanson as the two are both currently based out of CSMMA.

One of the few fighters to have taken down Khabib Nurmagomedov, I do not doubt that Trujillo has the ability ground Vick. However, he will need to maintain his newfound grappling improvements, especially when inside of Vick’s guard. Even though Trujillo can strike with authority on the floor, he tends to abandon his technics when doing so, allowing for space that sparks scrambles.

Against a fighter like James Vick, a lapse in concentration or technique could lead to a turning point in the tide. Don’t let the lanky frame of Vick fool you, as the athletic Texan uses it well. Whether he is utilizing his limbs to entangle grapevines or propelling his deceptively strong hips into sweeps, Vick stays active and intelligent in regards to what options he is exercising.

Regardless of Vick’s success with submissions or sweeps, he is constantly(and subtly) working his way to the fence so that he can stand safely, something that will likely serve him well here. In a matchup that I feel is spot-on at dead even, I suggest you avoid anything heavy either way as “this fight does not go the distance” is likely the smarter play. Ultimately, I’m siding with the fighter who I feel has the bigger toolkit, and gas tank to go along with it.

Official Pick: Vick – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Vick – Submission (round 3)

Jessica Andrade (15-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’2″ Age: 25 Weight: 125 lbs Reach: 62″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Jojo Calderwood (9-10-16)
  • Camp: Parana Vale Tudo (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   BJJ Blue Belt
+   Muay Thai Blue Belt
+   5 KO victories
+   7 Submission wins
+   7 first round finishes
+   Aggressive pace & output
+   Improved striking combinations
^   Variates well to the body
+   Strong in clinch & against fence
^   Trips, throws, strikes off breaks
+   Solid top game
^   Strikes, pressures, passes
+/-Willingness to exchange

Angela Hill (6-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’3″ Age: 32 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 64.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Kaline Medeiros (11-18-16)
  • Camp: Alliance MMA (San Diego, CA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Invicta FC Strawweight Title
+   Multiple Muay Thai Accolades
+   3 KO victories
+   1 first round finish
+   Consistent pace & pressure
^   Athletic / well-conditioned
+   Improved footwork
^   Sticks & moves well
+   Excellent clinch game
^   Dangerous knees & elbows
+   Improved wrestling technics
^   Primarily defensive
+/-Propensity to fight from back


*Full disclosure: For this fight, I was privy to some of Jessica Andrade’s training and strategy prior, and therefore will preclude myself from doing an in-depth breakdown. However, I will share some thoughts as I give a brief outline of the matchup.

Although I am obviously biased as I feel that Andrade is one of the stronger favorites on this card, I am not so sure the odds are entirely justified as Angela Hill is a much different fighter than when she left the UFC.

Coming off of the TUF 20 season a few years back, you only needed but one glance at Angela Hill’s record to tell that this was still a product in development. After mixed success against tough competition, we would see Hill end up in Invicta FC. Competing against the crop of fighters that she arguably should have been in the first place, Hill would display all the skills fans hope to see in the UFC.

Not only did her renown clinch game come to life(as seen in her stoppage of Alida Gray), but Hill’s footwork also began to blossom as she would inherit attributes of her stablemates at Alliance MMA. Demonstrating a stick-and-move sensibility similar to Dominic Cruz in the way that Hill dips, she will fake and feint her way into striking exchanges that behoove her.

Although this is a winnable fight for Angela Hill, she will essentially have to pitch the perfect game(as depicted above) if she has any measurable path to victory. Despite moving well laterally, Hill has a tendency to play on the outside near the fence, a place where Andrade makes her money.

Similar to John Lineker, Andrade does her best work in these zones as I only expect her to improve how she strikes and closes distance under the tutelage of Angelo Reyes. In the wrestling department, Hill has made impressive improvement in regards to her defensive technics. From her reactive sprawls to functional framing, she certainly won’t make it an easy night for an aggressive Andrade.

That said, her takedown defense is far from bulletproof, especially once working in a second or third attempt in the chain. If Andrade gets Hill down, I feel that the Brazilian will enjoy her biggest advantage on paper. Utilizing her strikes to pressure and pass, Hill may slide into quicksand should she elect her usual path of guard retentions as opposed to get-ups.

Although there is a lot of upside for the young Angela Hill, I ultimately see Jessica Andrade taking a clear decision with the possibility of a finish late. My stated bias aside, I honestly feel that we have a dark horse contender for the strawweight crown on our hands.

Official Pick: *Andrade – Decision

Official Outcome: Andrade – Decision

Main Card Predictions:

  • Bermudez def. Jung
  • Grasso def. Herrig
  • Vick def. Trujillo
  • Saint Preux def. Oezdemir
  • Hamilton def. Fortuna
  • Andrade def. Hill

Preliminary Card Predictions:

  • Blaydes def. Milstead
  • Skelly def. Gruetzemacher
  • Tanaka def. Ramos
  • Torres def. Rawlings
  • Morono def. Price
  • Rountree def. Jolly

Recommended Plays:

Props worth looking at(

-Skelly by Submission: +160 (1 Unit)
-Grasso by Decision: +105 (1.5 Units)
-Trujillo/Vick doesn’t go distance: -165 (1 Unit)

Playable favorites for your parlays:

-Chas Skelly
-Jessica Andrade
-Tecia Torres

Fights to avoid:

-Morono vs Price
-Hamilton vs Fortuna
-Rountree vs Jolly

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws

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