steven-siler-8.jpgSteven Siler wants you to know he’s not the crummy wrestler you think he is.

Yeah, he knows you saw his fight against Darren Elkins about a year ago, in which the Indiana high school state champion wrestler took him down and kept him down en route to a unanimous decision.

And yeah, he knows that Dennis Bermudez is a pretty sharp wrestler, too. But if you think he doesn’t have skills on the ground, he believes you might be in for a surprise tonight.

“People say Darren Elkins set the blueprint, but that was just a slip-up on my part – I’m not that bad of a wrestler,” Siler told MMAjunkie.com Radio.

Siler (23-10 MMA, 5-1 UFC) meets Bermudez (11-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) on tonight’s “UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3? card, which takes place at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Their preliminary-card fight airs on FOX Sports 1 ahead of the main card on the same channel.

“I feel good,” Siler said. “I had that one slip-up with Elkins where I came into the fight lazy and let him keep taking me down. It made me learn to fight the takedown a little harder and that I can’t just submit everyone from my back and made me become a better fighter than I was back then.”

Since that loss to Elkins, Siler has back-to-back wins over Kurt Holobaugh at UFC 159 in April and Mike Brown in August, the latter coming by way of a 50-second knockout in Boston.

Against Bermudez, he gets a fighter who is on a hot streak in the featherweight division. The Season 14 “TUF” runner-up has won four straight – the most recent two by split decision. But he has a “Submission of the Night” bonus in there, as well as a “Fight of the Night” for his split call over Matt Grice in February.

Plus, Siler and Bermudez trained together under Jason Miller on Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” As teammates, they know a thing or two about each other, which could make things intriguing once the fight starts.

“It’s going to be a good fight,” Siler said. “We were able to train together inside ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ house, and that’s going to make it a little more interesting. I think it makes it more of a great fight because he knows what I’m good at and I know what he’s good at.”

And some of what he’s been good at comes on the ground. That’s when Siler gets into his never fear mode.

If Bermudez, let alone the fans, underestimate his wrestling, they could get that aforementioned surprise. Bermudez is a slight favorite in the fight with the oddsmakers, coming in around -150.

“I’m prepared for wherever this fight goes, and I feel like I have the advantage everywhere,” Siler said. “He hasn’t fought a guy like me who’s able to jump on him and finish him. I know I’m going to finish the fight and he’s not going to be able to recover like he has in other fights. I fought Joey Gambino, who was a pretty good wrestler, and a lot of good wrestlers where I was able to defend the takedown.”

Wherever it winds up, Siler believes UFC President Dana White and the powers-that-be can fill out one of the post-fight bonus checks now. And in a perfect world, he can fill out a second one after the show, as well.

“I think this is going to be one of the most fun fights (on the card),” he said. “I’m already counting on the ‘FIght of the Night’ bonus. I just want the knockout or submission bonus to go with it.”

For the latest on UFC Fight Night 31, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen Post-Fight Press Conference Replay | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 9 views

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz fought for the last time on Saturday at Bellator 170, defeating Chael Sonnen by submission in the first round. read news >>

Here's the latest lineup for Saturday's 'UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena'

  • 28 days ago
  • 29 views

The UFC is off this weekend but returns Saturday. Check out the latest fight card for “UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena.”Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Video: 'Road to the Octagon' full episode with UFC on FOX 23's Shevchenko-Pena, Cerrone-Masvidal, Arlovski-Ngannou

  • 28 days ago
  • 35 views

Check out the full “UFC Road to the Octagon” segment for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 event.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC on Fox 23 Joe Rogan Preview: Julianna Pena vs. Valentina Shevchenko | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC commentator Joe Rogan previews the main event for UFC on FOX 23, featuring bantamweight contenders Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena. read news >>

Tito Ortiz Towers Over Bellator 170 Fighter Salaries | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 32 views

Tito Ortiz, already a UFC Hall of Fame member, went out on his own terms on Saturday at Bellator 170, also leading the charge on the disclosed fighter payroll. read news >>

Stephen Thompson Has Gained a Lot More Respect for Tyron Woodley (Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 26 views

Title challenger Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson has gained a lot of respect for UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 Road to the Octagon: Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 91 views

Heavyweights collide at UFC on FOX 23, as former champ Andrei Arlovski faces the division’s fastest rising prospect Francis Ngannou. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 Road to the Octagon: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 124 views

No. 1-ranked women's bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko looks to continue her ascent by knocking off No. 2 ranked Julianna Pena in the UFC on FOX 23 main event. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 Road to the Octagon: Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 85 views

In the co-main event at UFC on FOX 23, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is seeking a fifth straight victory in a showdown with Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. read news >>

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC on FOX 23 in Denver

  • 27 days ago
  • 18 views

We want your predictions for the upcoming UFC on FOX 23 event in Denver.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>