At UFC on Fox 2, Lightweight Evan Dunham (14-2; 5-2 UFC) faces Nik Lentz (21-4-2, 1 NC; 5-1-1, 1 NC UFC). This fight is the final prelim of the night and will be shown on Fuel TV. Dunham is currently the #18 ranked Lightweight in the world according to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, with Lentz unranked. The Fuel TV prelims begin this Saturday, January 28 at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, with the main card following on Fox at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
The Lightweight division is a very hard place to gain any momentum. Both Lentz and Dunham have had moments of looking like the potential next big thing at 155, only to see those plans derailed by loses. This will give one of the men a helpful boost towards the front of the ranks, but at the same time will push the loser farther back in line. It's a real clutch fight for both men, so expect them to lay it all on the line here.
How do these two stack up?
Dunham: 30 years old | 5'10" | 70" reach
Lentz: 27 years old | 5'8"
What have these two done recently?
Dunham: W - Shamar Bailey (UD) | L - Melvin Guillard (TKO) | L - Sean Sherk (SD)
Lentz: L - Mark Bocek (UD) | NC - Charles Oliveira | W - Waylon Lowe (Sub)
How did these two get here?
Evan Dunham got his UFC career off to a hot start, going 4-0 at the start of his Octagon career. That streak brought his overall record up to 11-0, and with his win over Tyson Griffin, Dunham looked to be knocking on the door of title contention. He hit a bit of a bump in the road at UFC 119 where he lost a controversial split decision to former champion Sean Sherk, but that loss was so close that many viewed it as a Dunham win, and his momentum continued to build. His real downturn came early in 2011 when he was dominated by Melvin Guillard. He's bounced back with a win over Shamar Bailey, but has fallen far from his former heights.
Nik Lentz had a similar fast UFC start, going undefeated in his first 6 UFC fights (5 wins with 1 draw). He was slowed down by an illegal Charles Oliveira knee that initially cost Lentz that fight, but was later overturned to a No Contest. He looked to rebound at UFC 140, but was defeated by Mark Bocek. Now, the fighter who was on a 15 fight undefeated streak before the Bocek loss is looking at a potential second loss in a row. In the stacked Lightweight division, that can mean your job, and while I don't think Lentz is at that point just yet, he really needs this win.
Why should you care?
Two excellent fighters, both with their backs to the wall, both in need of a win? Sold. Early FOTN candidate right here.
More UFC on Fox 2 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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- UFC on Fox: Dana White Guarantees Chael Sonnen Will Face Anderson Silva With Win - Brent Brookhouse