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Stephen Bass TUF 14 Episode 4 Blog: My Fight

| October 13, 2011 | Reply

This week’s episode starts with the infamous Death leprechaun’s once again coming thru with the fight pick a day early.  Thanks to Dodson, aka “The Mole”, Louis informed Bisping that it was going to be me vs. Dennis Bermudez  in the fight pick tomorrow.  Knowing that Dennis was a strong wrestler we started game planning to not get taken down and to get back up if I did, easy enough. 

My morning session was ground & pound sparring, me on bottom sweeping, subbing, or getting up.  If I did any of those things I started back on bottom. This is the session I got the black eye in that I wore into the fight.  The clip where you see Bisping’s 236 lb self, and yes those numbers are right, sweep and mount me is from that session.   We finished up with some light drilling and then it was off to the house for some food and rest.  When we came back in for the evening session Bisping wanted me to spar again while the other guys did other stuff.  I was already a little beat and tried to opt out of another hard session but he said we’d go light, that I needed it.  That was the sparring session where you see me wearing headgear and questioning him wanting me to do a third round, citing my fighting in a few days and needing to recover. The session was in fact, not light, he actually switched out a fresh guy half way thru each round so they could really get after me.  Another interesting fact: The slugfest you saw on last week’s episode between Diego and Marcus was actually only 2 days before the sparring sessions with me that you saw in this week’s episode.  We definitely didn’t have a lack of sparring, Bisping just saw a hole in my game that he wanted to tighten up but it was a little to late for that.

Dennis Bermudez 229x300 Stephen Bass TUF 14 Episode 4 Blog: My Fight

Dennis Bermudez

My fight was a train wreck from the get go!  When I stopped Dennis’s first takedown attempt and pressed him up against the cage I thought I was well on the way to a good fight.  Then, when he spun me around and put his weight on me it just sucked the energy out of me and I knew it was going to be a long and grueling fight.  I did the best I could to suck him into my guard thinking I could catch him slipping and grab an armbar or triangle but he wasn’t having it.  It was a great job on his part implementing his wrestling and GNP game plan.  At this point I could hear Bisping’s advice but couldn’t execute, my legs and energy were already zapped and I was getting thoroughly out-performed.  The rest, as they say is history.   Dennis got the win and I learned that my wrestling and ability to “just get up” needed a lot of work.   For some perspective, I was lucky to be on Bisping’s team because if you look at all of his fights in the UFC he is EXCELLENT at not being held down so I was able to use his expertise on this aspect for the next few weeks and add some of his tricks and techniques to my tool bag.

That leads me to the next order of business, the post-fight debacle ending in a little argument between me and Bisping in the dressing room.  This once again goes back to me not talking sh@# behind someone’s back.  Team Bisping and myself had a discussion in the van after my fight and I mentioned the sessions of hard sparring too close to my fight as ONE of the factors that affected my performance…not to mention that Dennis being in far better shape than me at the time with far more wrestling experience.  I told the team I was going to talk to Bisping about it since I already mentioned it on camera and they all advised against it, knowing that it would end exactly like it did.  I really don’t care that it ended in an argument, he and I were both fired up and both fighters so it happened exactly like I expected.  I’m just glad he didn’t hear about it for the first time when the show aired.  I will not seem like or be a back-stabbing snake.  For me, that would have been much worse than doing it the way I did.

I’d also like to thank Josh Rosenthal, the referee, for letting the fight go as long as he did considering how one-sided it was.  I was a little upset about the stoppage because Dennis wasn’t doing any real damage but I know that I wasn’t intelligently defending myself.  I could have easily taken that ass whipping for another 2 minutes and kept a little more of my pride intact, but it is what it is.

The episode then turns to the next matchup, Louis Gaudinot vs. Dustin Pague.  These guys put on a heck of a show for the fans, Pague just ended up being too big and strong for Louis, a natural 125′er.  The fight ended with Louis face down on the mat tapping to a RNC in the second round after a valiant effort.  When the UFC opens up his weight division you’ll see a lot more of him, he’s a talented fighter.

To close I just want to say thanks to everyone that has supported me up to this point.  Thanks to my family and friends, Champions Training Center in Savannah, GA, my home base with my coaches Muhsin Corbbrey, Brian Robertson, Norman Jones, Frank Bell and management “Kevin Najeeb Odom”.  Thanks to Team Lloyd Irvin DC where I’ll be spending more time in the future getting the best jiu-jitsu training in the world.  Thanks to Madhouse and Team Manu Ntoh in Atlanta, GA and special thanks to the MMA fans all over the world, without you I could have never made it as far as I did in this career or had any of the amazing life experiences that I’ve had. Also, thanks to Bisping and the other coaches for their time and knowledge.  I will carry it with me in my continued quest to be the best fighter I can be. I WILL come back stronger, ready to go to war next time!

Stephen “Bigfish” Bass is exclusively blogging on every Thursday during the TUF 14 season. Make sure to follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenBassTUF and check out his website at

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Tags: Blog, Dennis Bermudez, Dustin Pague, Louis Gaudinot, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, Stephen Bass, Team Bisping, TUF 14, TUF 14 Blog, UFC, Ultimate Fighter

Category: Blog, Exclusive, Featured, MMA, UFC, Ultimate Fighter

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My brain child is MMAValor, something I had wanted to do for a long time and finally it’s here. Been an MMA fan since TUF season one (play catch up all the time) and the obsession started to grow like a weed and as the sport grows so does the love for the sport. I’m a jack of all trades, a very organized person that rides an emotional roller coaster daily.

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