TUF 13 welterweight alumnus Shamar Bailey (12-3) will drop to the lightweight division Saturday night when he meets Evan Dunham (11-2) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans at UFC Fight Night 25.
Bailey is riding high off a dominant unanimous decision win over former TUF 13 castmate Ryan McGillivray back in June at the Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale in Las Vegas.
Now presented with a huge opportunity to move up the ladder, the 28-year-old is excited to fight someone like Dunham, who presses the action and goes for the decisive finish.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching Evan fight,” Bailey told MMAWeekly Radio.
“He brings it, he comes forward, even though he’s not just a guy who is going to take you down along the cage and he’s not going to just hold on to you, he’s going to actively look for submissions. I look forward to that match-up. I asked for a tough fight. I look forward to that, and I get to see what I’m made of.”
The Indiana resident enters his most high-profile bout on Saturday night, however, his adversary, Dunham, who was once a highly regarded prospect, is on a two-fight skid to the likes of Sean Sherk and Melvin Guillard. Still, Bailey feels that he has everything to gain with this fight and feels that all the strain is on Dunham.
“When you start getting on a win streak, you start to believe the hype and at this point I believe Evan is back at ground zero. He’s back to what gives him confidence, back to who he is as a fighter and as a person. I expect to get the most dangerous and most motivated Evan Dunham that’s ever stepped into the Octagon.
“His back is against the wall, he has everything to lose and not a whole lot to gain by fighting me. I have everything to gain by fighting him and I’m expecting it to be a high paced fight and I’m ready for it.”