If you've seen my byline around these parts before, you've probably noticed that I don't often tend to expound on UFC fights in my posts. It's not that I don't care or don't watch - like any self-respecting MMA fan, I wouldn't dare miss a UFC pay-per-view. No, it's just that this site is already home to a cadre of excellent writers capable of churning out pre-, post- and mid-fight thoughts on all things Zuffa.
But when Sherdog.com asked me to zero in on what I felt was the most pivotal moment from last weekend's UFC 119, I couldn't resist the chance to offer up some praise for Evan Dunham's gory, gutsy showing:
You're an unbeaten prospect in the biggest fight of your career, against a former champion, no less. The first round ends, and you know that you've been cut wide open with an elbow. When you get back to your stool, your cutman takes one look at the gash and exclaims: "Oh, sh-t."
Such was the predicament of Evan Dunham in his 155-pound contest with Sean Sherk at UFC 119. The gruesome cut was of the sort that generally signals the beginning of the end for a fighter. Instead, Dunham's finest work was yet to come.
Of course, by now, we all know how this one played out. The inimitable judges Cecil Peoples and Glenn Trowbridge each turned in scorecards of 29-28 Sherk -- decisions which might be more easily justified were it not for FightMetric's entirely contradictory numbers -- and hung Dunham with the first "L" of his professional MMA career. While there's no un-blemishing a record, Dunham likely walked away from the defeat with a slew of new fans, and certainly with the knowledge that he can overcome serious adversity when confronted with it in the cage.
Another positive - it sounds like Dunham is even less hung-up over the loss than some fans:
"I’d love to fight Sherk again, and I think it was exciting for the fans and I think I could finish him. However I’m not one of those guys who wants to go on a 'revenge tour.' I just want to keep fighting tough guys. So I don’t really care who I fight next, I just want to fight tough guys."