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Evan  Dunham.

Evan Dunham: I want it bad!

January-06-10
Undefeated Xtreme Couture lightweight talks to us about his upcoming bout with Efrain Escudero at UFN 20.

Author: Jay Furness

Interview

Evan Dunham takes the next step in his UFC career when he squares off against The Ultimate Fighter Season Eight winner Efrain Escudero at UFC Fight Night 20: Diaz vs. Maynard this weekend.

Bringing a perfect 7-0 record with him into his Octagon debut, a straight left saw him despatch Per Eklund with relative ease and he then went on to edge a decision over the experienced veteran Marcus Aurelio.

Now he pits his undefeated record against that of Efrain Escudero (13-0) and 'Hecho en Mexcico' brings the hype of a TUF winner and the momentum of his recent KO victory over Cole Miller. It won't faze Dunham, however.

"For every fight I prepare the same way and that is all out. I have been in Vegas at Xtreme Couture for a nine week camp and I feel great and ready to go," Evan told MMAUnltd.com. "It doesn't change anything because I realize all fights are just that; a fight. Mentally I feel very strong and don't let nerves get to me because I know what my job is, and that is to win. I keep it simple: just win."

That is the sound of a relaxed man, confident about his skills and abilities. Dunham progressed quietly up the ladder with his first two UFC wins with little to no fanfare on the undercard. Now he sits as the co-headliner on a card headed up by a fight with real implications at the top of the lightweight division. He now feels he is in a fight that can see him pushed further in the right direction, but also with a little more exposure.

"He has a lot of followers because he won the TUF show and is undefeated. This win will help get my name out there," Dunham revealed, musing over his status in the division should he win. "The division is deep with lots of great talent but it will surely move me up in the ranks."

Analysing the game of his opponent, Evan also offered,

"Efrain has a strong overall game with a strength in wrestling. However, I know that my overall game is better."

He continued to break down the relative strengths and weaknesses, believing his MMA reportoire surpasses that of his adversary.

"My striking and ground game are more developed and I also know that my wrestling will give him lots of problems. There is no game plan, just take the fight where I feel I am more dominant and that will show itself as the fight plays out."

Without wanting to be too specific, Dunham gave a preview on how he sees the fight playing out.

"I think this fight will boil down to who has the better conditioning and who wants it more. I know I want it bad and my conditioning is through the roof."

Two young stars that are trying to forge their names within the lightweight landscape; expect a great showcase of skills and determination when the cage door shuts.

"Make sure to watch this fight," Dunham asserted. "I am more than ready and I am sure he is too. I see a hard-hitting, scrappy fight with my hand raised at the end of the night."

 

UFC Fight Night 20 takes place January 11th in Virginia, headlined by Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz.

 

Evan would like to thank all his training partners at Xtreme Couture, Team Megaton, Legion BJJ and Tapout Training Centre.

 

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