Fighting out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Evan Dunham has had a quick rise in the ranks of the UFC Lightweight division, all of this coming in a span of only a couple of weeks. Dunham had an impressive undefeated record before making his UFC debut on short notice as a last-minute injury replacement. He now prepares for his next bout in the promotion at UFC 102. Dunham is scheduled to square off against fellow undefeated wrestler Matt Veach.
Like most fighters in mixed martial arts, Dunham was quietly making a name for himself in smaller MMA shows before finally getting his first break in his short fighting career. He was picked to go against fellow undefeated Lightweight prospect Dustin Akbari in the Palace Fighting Championships. Akbari was a highly touted protégé of Urijah Faber and was expected to run through Dunham. It didn’t happen, though, as Dunham used some crisp striking to hurt Akbari and control the fight until he fi nally was able to lock on the fight-ending choke in the final round of the fight.
At this point, Dunham was now slowly gaining a small following among hard-core mixed martial arts fans, but he would finally get noticed. With a spot open due to a late injury, he got the call from the UFC to fight on short notice at UFC 95 against Swedish submission specialist Per Eklund. Dunham got off to a quick start in the fight as he dropped Eklund right off the bat and then caught the dazed fighter in a tight guillotine choke. After some struggling, Eklund escaped and the two fi ghters would scramble for position for the next two minutes until taking the fight back to the feet. Once back to standing, Dunham unleashed a crisp left straight that put Eklund on his back and followed him down to finish him off with strikes.
Dunham now prepares himself for his bout against fellow undefeated Lightweight prospect Matt Veach at UFC 102, which will be in Portland, not far from Dunham’s hometown of Eugene in Oregon. One thing is for sure: Dunham will be looking to continue his steady rise up the Lightweight division and become a household name in only a matter of time.