by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
There’s only one direction that Evan Dunham wants to go after his UFC 115 victory over training partner Tyson Griffin, and that’s up. The 28-year-old fighter training out of Las Vegas is now 4-0 in the UFC, and looking for a top ten fight for his next battle.
A lot was made before Dunham’s fight with Griffin about the two training alongside one another at Xtreme Couture prior to the fight announcement, and the eventual move for Dunham out of the camp so they could prepare for each other.
Dunham admits much the same that Griffin did prior to the fight, that they were great training partners, but not yet full fledged teammates and that did influence his decision to accept the fight.
“I respect him a lot as a training partner, and I like the guy, but we’re not buddy-buddy outside of the gym, so it wasn’t like fighting your best friend,” Dunham said when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.
After discussing things with Griffin and accepting the fight, Dunham added an extra two weeks to his normal 10-week training camp to allow some time to explore other options in and around Las Vegas. What resulted was a three-round dominant performance by Dunham, who put on possibly his best showing to date against a top ranked opponent.
When the fight was over, Dunham talked to his training partners at Xtreme Couture, and much like expected there were no hard feelings, and he will return there soon to prepare for his future fights.
“I talked to Tyson a little bit, and it seems like everything’s cool, so I’d really like to get back there next week and start training,” Dunham said about Xtreme Couture.
He’s first taking a little down time to enjoy some food and rest, but won’t waste any time to get back in the gym to prepare for his next fight. Beating Griffin was a great step forward, and Dunham only wants to face the best fighters now.
“I want to keep moving up,” said Dunham. “There’s no point in taking a step back or staying stagnant, I want to fight the toughest guys they can find for me. I want to keep moving up that ladder. Whoever I’ve got to fight to do that, that’s what I want to do.”
Never being a fighter to call anyone out, Dunham doesn’t name anyone specifically that he’d want to take on, but names like Sean Sherk or Jim Miller could loom in the future for him. For Dunham it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s a top name, and a challenge for him to get better.
“There’s several guys vying for that same position, so whoever they think would be best, that’s who I’ll take,” Dunham said. “I just want to keep moving up in the ranks.”