The 3rd of 4 televised preliminary card bouts takes place in the lightweight division, as Evan Dunham (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) faces Canada's T.J. Grant (18-5, 5-3 UFC) at UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is an important fight for both men as they're just on the outside of the top of the UFC LW division, ranked #20 and #25 respectively in the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings.
Dunham was on the cusp of contention not too long ago until consecutive setbacks sent him back down the ladder. Grant is on the ascendency in his new weight class after spending his career at welterweight. The FX preliminary card airs live at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT before the PPV broadcast at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Dunham: 30 years old | 5'10" | 70" reach
Grant: 28 years old | 5'10" | 72.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
Dunham: W - Nik Lentz (TKO) | W - Shamar Bailey (UD) | L - Melvin Guillard (TKO)
Grant: W - Carlo Prater (UD) | W - Shane Roller (SUB) | L - Ricardo Almeida (UD)
How did these two get here?
Evan Dunham came into the UFC with a bang, KOing Per Eklund in his debut at UFC 95. It started a four-fight win streak that put him on the cusp of title contention. A highly controversial split decision loss to Sean Sherk set him back, and a mauling at the hands of Melvin Guillard months later put Dunham some distance away from the top 10. He's since easily defeated Shamar Bailey and Nik Lentz, the latter in a FOTN showing, and he's looking to not only beat Grant, but finally get back on the main card.
Grant is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and started his career as a welterweight. His UFC debut was a success, narrowly defeating Ryo Chonan at UFC 97, but he had mixed results at 170, going 3-3 before making the drop to 155. The move has paid dividends, as he's beaten Shane Roller and Carlo Prater with ease. An upset win over Dunham will certainly raise eyebrows in the crowded LW division.
Why should you care?
This should really be a main card fight. Dunham is very underrated and is a well-rounded fighter, and Grant has very slick grappling abilities. I expect this to be the most entertaining fight on the prelims if not a sleeper for Fight of the Night.
More UFC 152 coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.