Dennis Siver got off to a rocky 1-2 start when he made his move to the UFC three and a half years ago, but he’s quietly turned his fortunes around. And if he has anything to say about it, he’s also turning around the misperceptions about his fighting style.
After winning “Knockout of the Night” honors at UFC 93 and UFC 105, both by a spinning back kick followed by punches, Siver’s reputation is that he’s a one-trick pony.
“Everybody thinks all I do is my spinning back kick, but that’s not true. Of course, I’m able to do other things. That’s what I proved today,” Siver told UFC.com after the fight.
“I changed my training program to focus more on jiu-jitsu and wrestling,” he added at the UFC 122 post-fight press conference. “It’s proving to be (the right move). I’m very pleased with the progress that I’ve been making.”
That basic submission ability has been in his arsenal for a long time, actually. He has submitted fighters by rear naked choke, guillotine choke, armbar, heel hook… Siver is no newbie on the ground. He’s just had to elevate his game as the stakes continue to rise.
The victory over Winner, a finalist on Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, is sure to elevate his status once again. The opposition that this win elevates him to in his next fight remains to be seen, but it is clear that his boss has someone in mind.
“(UFC matchmaker Joe Silva) and I were talking about that and who we’d like him to fight, but I’m not gonna talk about that right now,” said UFC president Dana White at the press conference. “I’d rather here it from him and see who he wants to fight.”
Siver didn’t really call anyone out after his win, but he does have a few guys in mind that he’d like to face. He has lost in the past to Gray Maynard, Ross Pearson, and Melvin Guillard, and would like the opportunity to face them again.
“I would like to fight against the fighters to which I lost because now I think I would win those fights if I were (to fight them again),” he commented.
For now, he’s happy to have performed well on his home turf in Germany, doing his part to progress the acceptance of the sport there.
“A victory here in Germany was very important to me,” he said in the UFC.com interview. “Now maybe MMA becomes more famous in Germany.”