SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Clay Guida survived the first time. He wasn't so lucky the second.
Dennis Bermudez had Guida's back at the end of the first round, trying to sink in a choke. Guida was saved by the bell, but Bermudez got another chance in the second and finished.
In the biggest victory of his career, Bermudez beat Clay Guida by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:57 of the second round Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Lawler vs. Brown here at SAP Center. Guida came in ranked No. 7 among UFC featherweight contenders, while Bermudez was No. 12. The win should vault Bermudez into the top 10.
Not only that but Guida is a name opponent and the crowd here treated him as such. Bermudez has now won eight straight and this was against by far the most popular fighter.
"I'm stoked to the max," Bermudez said. … "To beat him is something else."
Dennis Bermudez (left) scored the biggest win of his career Saturday.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC
Afterward, Bermudez (14-3) said he would like a title shot against featherweight champion Jose Aldo and he really isn't too far off. The Long Island native was dominant against Guida, which few people really are. He pummeled the veteran in the first round and was basically doing the same in the second. At 27, Bermudez is a pretty serious threat to be one of the top guys at 145 pounds for a long time.
Guida (31-15) has lost two of three, but they were against two of the best and most athletic fighters in the division. It's unclear where he goes from here, but maybe fighting guys like Tatsuya Kawajiri, like in his last bout, makes more sense than meeting much younger, hungrier contenders. Guida is still only 32.
Bermudez, though, is in his prime and has huge, significant fights coming up.