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Undefeated UFC bantamweight Manny Bermudez signs new contract

nt" LAS VEGAS – Manny Bermudez is feeling pretty appreciated right now. It’s no wonder, as the undefeated UFC bantamweight recently signed a new four-fight contract that could extend his impressive streak. “I feel like they like me,” Bermudez told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. Bermudez (14-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC)...

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LAS VEGAS – Manny Bermudez is feeling pretty appreciated right now.

It’s no wonder, as the undefeated UFC bantamweight recently signed a new four-fight contract that could extend his impressive streak.

“I feel like they like me,” Bermudez told MMA Junkie on Wednesday.

Bermudez (14-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been working at the UFC Performance Institute to shore up a few nagging injuries with an eye on returning this summer. He’s also reevaluating the caloric side of his job after a weight miss in his previous outing, a first-round submission of the previously unbeaten Benito Lopez in February.

“It sounds like it’s going to have to be a dietary, lifestyle change,” Bermudez said. “I like my food, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Before he pumped the brakes on his competitive schedule, Bermudez sought to steal the zero of another up-and-coming bantamweight, Sean O’Malley. But O’Malley remains in limbo with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after a positive marijuana test.

“I think International Fight Week would have been awesome,” Bermudez said. “I was looking at fighting Sean. I thought it would be cool to have two undefeated guys fighting each other. I think a lot of times, two guys like that don’t get put up against each other.

“That’s what was cool about me and Benito. Somebody’s got to lose. I think that’s more interesting than having one guy that’s undefeated and one guy that has a couple losses. I think it makes it seem like the guy with a couple losses is going to lose.”

If Bermudez is looking for unbeaten competition, there aren’t any other options besides O’Malley and “The Ultimate Fighter 27” winner Brad Katona. But either of those fights sound just fine to him.

And with four more fights to burn, he’s got time to get to both.

To hear our full one-on-one interview with Bermudez, watch the video above.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Firas Zahabi expects ‘cheater’ Jon Fitch to be on PEDs for Bellator title fight vs. Rory MacDonald

Firas Zahabi is not exactly known as an MMA personality who stirs the pot. The Montreal-based martial artist is best known as the head trainer for TriStar Gym, which has produced greats such as former UFC two-division champion Georges St-Pierre and current Bellator welterweight titleholder Rory MacDonald. So when...

Firas Zahabi is not exactly known as an MMA personality who stirs the pot.

The Montreal-based martial artist is best known as the head trainer for TriStar Gym, which has produced greats such as former UFC two-division champion Georges St-Pierre and current Bellator welterweight titleholder Rory MacDonald.

So when Zahabi has a bad word to say about someone, it’s noteworthy. And it’s clear Zahabi is no fan of Jon Fitch.

The 41-year-old Fitch will challenge MacDonald (20-5 MMA; 2-1 BMMA) for his title in the main event of Bellator 220 on April 27 in San Jose, Calif.

Fitch (31-7-1 MMA; 1-0 Bellator) has won five straight fights and is 7-2 since being cut by the UFC in 2013, and Zahabi believes this is due to one reason: He believes Fitch is cheating, even after a failed drug test prior to a WSOF fight in 2015.

“That’s why he had a resurgence,” Zahabi told DAZN. “He’s better now than he was before because of his steroids. He had a dip, and then he had a surge.”

“In my opinion, let’s be honest: He’s a cheater,” Zahabi continued. “We’re not a group of guys playing golf here. We’re not playing soccer here. We’re hitting each other; we’re not hitting baseballs. We’re hitting each other. It’s highly immoral. It’s a crime in my opinion. Truth of the matter is, he’s not as good as people think he is. He’s really just a cheater.”

Zahabi has crossed paths with Fitch before: Zahabi was with St-Pierre when the then-welterweight champion put a one-sided beating on Fitch in a title fight at UFC 87 in 2008. But because Zahabi believes Fitch isn’t on the up-and-up, he’s not a fan of him getting a crack at MacDonald’s belt.

“This is a highly objectable contest, because I know, I feel that for sure if he did it in 2015, here we are in 2019, and he has a title fight, of course he’s going to do it,” Zahabi said. “But we don’t have USADA or VADA testing in Bellator. We only have the testing of the week of the fight, which is very easy to get around. So in my opinion, Fitch is not an authentic fighter.”

Zahabi gives Fitch props as a talented wrestler, but that’s about where the TriStar trainer’s respect level for the former WSOF titleholder ends.

“This guy is a coward,” Zahabi said. “He’s a cheater. At the end of the day, he’s a true coward. In my opinion, he’s not a good fighter. He’s not a competent fighter. He really is just a guy on a lot of juice – he’s a good wrestler, I’ll give him that. But really he really is just a guy on a lot of juice. … The truth of the matter is, he can’t win without it. That’s the truth.”

For more on Bellator 220, check out the Rumors section of the site.

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (8 p.m. ET) with Ray Mancini, Walt Harris, Chris Curtis

MMA Junkie Radio kicks off today at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) with boxing International Boxing Hall of Famer Ray Mancini, Chris Curtis, and Walt Harris. Curtis kicks off his quest for the PFL’s $1 million prize in their upcoming season when he faces Louis Taylor on May...

MMA Junkie Radio kicks off today at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) with boxing International Boxing Hall of Famer Ray Mancini, Chris Curtis, and Walt Harris.

Curtis kicks off his quest for the PFL’s $1 million prize in their upcoming season when he faces Louis Taylor on May 9.

Harris, the UFC heavyweight competitor, returns to action at UFC on ESPN+ 8 on May 4 when he meets Sergey Spivak.

And Mancini, the former WBA lightweight champion, will talk about the upcoming PBC Fight Night card, for which he’ll serve as a commentator.

MMA Junkie Radio airs from 8 to 10 p.m. ET (5 to 7 p.m. PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live above or on MMAjunkie’s YouTube page. Additionally, SiriusXM Fight Nation (Ch. 156) airs the show live, or you can catch an on-demand replay on the SiriusXM app.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ONLINE): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s YouTube page.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s sports book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com. (Note: You must be 21 or older to enter the casino.)
  • HOW TO INTERACT: Follow MMAjunkie Radio on your favorite social-media platforms, including TwitterFacebookand Instagram.
  • HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: Never miss an episode of MMAjunkie by subscribing via iTunesStitcher or Audioboom.

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