The Oklahoma City product is fighting for the first time since his GLORY 52 showdown with interim light-heavyweight champion Pavel Zhuravlev back in March.
Consensus opinion prior to that fight had Dennis being stopped by ‘The Caiman’; instead Dennis took him the distance, landed well himself and earned respect from both Zhuravlev and the fans.
Dennis lost a decision in the end but says “it was a loss but it doesn’t really feel like a loss” because of the boost in recognition he received in the aftermath.
“I’ve basically being living in the gym because I have had so many private lessons bookings since that fight. Things blew up for me after that and it’s been great to get that kind of recognition locally,” he says.
Now Dennis has booked himself another tough challenge, in the form of a tournament which will require him to win two fights in one night to be victorious.
He faces Denver’s own Danny Mitchell in his semi-final bout, while the other semi-final match has UFC veteran Chris Camozzi, also from Denver, facing off with John King of Texas.
“I don’t know much about Danny Mitchell except he looks like a fat Eddie Alvarez. He looks like an overweight rotisserie chicken,” jokes Dennis.
“John King… that’s my boy man, we go back, we fought twice and I won both fights. I love him but tell him I said stay in his lane, because if he’s trying to climb these GLORY rankings I’m gonna have to beat him a third time!
“Chris Camozzi I also don’t know much about - I don’t watch middleweights! But he’s a southpaw and they are easy to beat up on.”
Dennis’ jokey demeanor belies a serious training focus and work ethic. He works with professional boxers on a regular basis (“Getting punched by them is a whole different kind of intensity”) and has finally been able to get a full-time kickboxing coach of his own.
“Until recently I have only had a boxing coach and I have been sort of working the kickboxing stuff myself and I think that’s going to show a big difference. We’ve been working a lot of interruption drills so that’s added some new things,” he says.
“Its a cliche but I have never felt as good for a fight ever, physically and mentally I just feel great. I have been telling people I feel like I have been to the future and seen the results already.
“I feel like I am not going in there thinking about winning so much as how I am going to win. I feel like the wins are already in the bag, it's how I win, I want the knockouts.”
GLORY 56 Superfight Series streams live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 10.