by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Training partners before UFC 115, and opponents in Vancouver on Saturday night.
Evan Dunham had to pick up and move his training camp across town when he was matched up with Tyson Griffin, who has been a mainstay at Xtreme Couture where the two trained together recently. While he has plans of going back to the gym after this fight, Dunham didn’t miss a step in the bout as he handled Tyson Griffin for the better part of three rounds to get a split-decision win.
Multiple times during the fight, Dunham took Griffin to the ground, moving to take his back and look for the rear naked choke. Griffin had his moments on the feet, but had no answer for Dunham’s ground game, which looked phenomenal.
Dunham continued to move forward, and simply out worked him on the mat, constantly looking for the choke, and Griffin could only defend and try to look for a way out. He didn’t find the escape and Dunham cruised to his fourth straight win in the Octagon.
The prelims on Spike TV started out with what promised to be a great, fast paced fight between lightweights Matt Wiman and Mac Danzig, but ended with a bad judgment call by referee Yves Lavigne.
Danzig took Wiman to the ground early, but was caught in a guillotine choke just a few seconds after working on the mat. Wiman sunk it in deep, causing Danzig to roll over and try to loosen the hold. While the choke looked deep, it almost seemed like a neck crank as Danzig’s head turned to the side, but his neck was open allowing blood to flow freely.
Just then Matt Wiman turned to Yves Lavigne motioning that Danzig was out, and with a brief check of the hand, the Canadian stepped in to stop the fight and declaring Wiman the winner.
“I thought he went out and so I had him check him, and it’s his call, but I’ve had fighters go out on me before, I told the ref, that’s the way it worked,” Wiman said after the fight. “He wasn’t out.”
Danzig immediately popped up, obviously in no danger of going out at that moment, but Lavigne insisted on the stoppage and the fight was over. Wiman was very classy in the moment, recognizing that Danzig wasn’t out and had no problem offering him a rematch.
“Very unfortunate, both Mac and I, you guys don’t know what we go through to train for these fights. I didn’t want it to end like this, I thought he was out maybe,” said Wiman. “I guess we can do it again, you know?”
Even though a lot of fighters would have been angry and lashing out at the referee and the stoppage, Danzig was equally as classy in defeat, even defending Lavigne for having to make the tough call.
“Yves Lavigne and any referee has a really hard job in this sport, I want to say that just straight off. It’s not an easy job,” said Danzig. “I was posting on his knee, when Yves Lavigne grabbed my arm, I can’t let go of that, when I’m posting on Matt’s knee I’m trying to stay safe and that’s how you stay safe, if I would have let go of his knee he would have got it deeper.”
Much like the bizarre stoppage with Shane Nelson and Aaron Riley at UFC 96, the UFC rematched them immediately and it seems the same would happen for Wiman and Danzig after a botched call by the referee on Saturday night.