Until he ran into Melvin Guillard, many were casting Evan Dunham as a future top contender in the lightweight division. Sure, he’d lost a prior decision to Sean Sherk, but most people felt that he deserved to win that one — it was the first-round TKO loss to Guillard that really slowed the Xtreme Couture-trained fighter’s momentum.
It didn’t help that that fight took place back in late January and that he’s been out of action since rehabbing injuries.
Now though, the 29-year-old is just days removed from making his return to action; he’ll be facing The Ultimate Fighter 13 castmember Shamar Bailey at UFC Fight Night 25 this weekend and he spoke recently with Spencer Lazara of MMAInterviews.tv about the match-up.
“I’ve fought guys with his style a few times before, I feel real confident going into the fight,” said Dunham. “Really, I don’t think his wrestling’s any better than mine. I’m gonna take control of the pace, do whatever I wanna do and win this fight.”
Dunham explained that he believes his training with the likes of Martin Kampmann and Jay Hieron will allow him to overcome anything that Bailey, who is making the drop from welterweight to lightweight for this fight, brings to the table.
“Martin and Jay, they’re really staple guys here, they’re always in here everyday and I love working with them. They’re two of the best 70s out there,” he said. “I know Shamar is coming down from 170 but that size isn’t gonna make much of a difference because I’m used to going back and forth with these 170-pounders anyway. Jay and Martin, I can’t thank them enough; they push me hard and I think they’re light years ahead in the stand-up and in the wrestling over Shamar.”
FightLine.com will have live, ongoing coverage of UFC Fight Night 25, which goes down this Saturday from the Ernest N. Morial Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Check out Dunham’s full interview with MMAInterviews below.