Dennis Bermudez Applied Science to His Preparation for UFC 180

November 14, 2014

As long as he has his video games, Dennis Bermudez is just fine living in a tent for more than 12 hours a day. This has been the way of life for the UFC 180 featherweight for the last six weeks.

Bermudez will be fighting at more than a mile and a half of elevation this weekend. While the common route for fighters in the past has been to train at elevation in preparation for a fight of that altitude, Bermudez, under the advisement of specialists, has taken a different approach by sleeping in an elevation tent to acclimate his body to the altitude.

“Right now we’re sleeping high and training low,” he told “So I got the Hypoxico tent. It goes under my mattress and it’s like a tent that goes over my bed. It simulates high elevation.”

The tent has mirrored the atmosphere of where the fighter will face Ricardo Lamas this weekend, Mexico City. By spending part of his day and all evening in the tent, the fighter’s body has become more acclimated to what it can expect on fight night.

If you’ve followed fighter training before, you’ve noticed that some have chosen to spend their camps in an environment that’s far above sea level. This has been done to improve upon the fighter’s stamina.

But Dr. Andy Galpin, Ph.D., the head of the Center for Sport Performance at California State University, Fullerton, explained that fighters haven’t been getting the most they can out of that method.

“The traditional model of going up to altitude, do some sort of exercise and come back down has been very clearly shown to be pretty ineffective. It doesn’t really work that well,” he said. “What works better is to train really, really low, like at sea level, and then live really, really high. The basic idea behind that is if you train and work out at sea level, the workouts are really high quality. You can train really hard, you can have a really good practice. But then you live at elevation so you get the altitude adaptation, better blood flow, more red blood cell mass, but it doesn’t compromise your training quality.”

With the assistance of Dr. Galpin, Bermudez will hope to have an edge against Lamas on Saturday in their pay-per-view bout. Having a seven-fight win streak, one of the longest current runs in the UFC, Bermudez is on the cusp of earning his first title shot with the organization. Lamas, who himself once faced division champ Jose Aldo for the title, is also on the cusp of being in title contention with a strong win this weekend.

But Bermudez said he has no plans of allowing Lamas that kind of opportunity.

“My goal is to deny him,” he said, referencing Lamas’ chances at another title shot.

Even though a possible eighth consecutive win coming on Saturday will do well to speak for title shots, part of the fight business has become selling yourself. Conor McGregor, for example, has half as many UFC fights as Bermudez, but he’s already in consideration for a title shot with another win. The reason, many believe, that McGregor is getting such early title consideration is because he’s one of the best on the microphone and talks enough trash to produce intrigue from fans. And as fans become more intrigued, the UFC bosses take notice.

Bermudez, however, doesn’t necessarily believe trash talk is the way to go in working your way to a title shot. He said he’s more about speaking with his fists than he is with his mouth.

“I’ve never been too much of a trash talker growing up. I was more of one to speak with my actions,” he said. “Maybe it’s something I have to work on or get better at in terms of selling the fight, but right now it’s been working for me to stay humble and stay true to me and being who I am. I wasn’t ignorant and cocky. I’m pretty humble. I feel that it goes a long way with a lot of people, like real fans.”

Bermudez will likely stick to the humble route and avoid consuming himself with improving his mic skills. Like he’s been in his elevation tent for the last several weeks, “The Menace” is pretty comfortable staying where he’s at and how he carries himself.

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