Category Archives: Evan Dunham

UFC 216 gets 7 bouts, including Evan Dunham vs. Beneil Dariush, Brad Tavares vs. Thales Leites

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The UFC has added seven new bouts to UFC 216, including lightweight and middleweight showdowns with implications in the rankings.

Today, the promotion announced that lightweight standouts Evan Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) and Beneil Dariush (14-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) will face off, as will middleweights Brad Tavares (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and one-time title challenger Thales Leites (27-7 MMA, 12-6 UFC).

UFC 216 take place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Also confirmed for the fall card: a heavyweight clash featuring Walt Harris (9-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) vs. Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC); a lightweight fight between Lando Vannata (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Abel Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 7-2 UFC); a previously reported lightweight contest between Will Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC); and a pair of flyweight bouts, John Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) vs. Magomed Bibulatov (14-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Matt Schnell (9-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) vs. Marco Beltran (8-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

Dunham, on a four-fight win streak, will look to break into the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, where Dariush stands at No. 10. Dariush, meanwhile, is looking to rebound from a knockout loss to No. 6 ranked Edson Barboza in his previous outing. Dunham previously expressed interest in a bout with Dariush.

Tavares, an honorable mention in the middleweight rankings has won his past two bouts and hopes to break into the top 15 with a win over No. 13 Leites, who recently outpointed Sam Alvey.

Heavyweight Harris is on the upswing with back-to-back knockout wins in bouts against Chase Sherman and Cyril Asker, respectively. Godbeer most recently outpointed Daniel Spitz, upping his UFC record to 1-1 after a debut loss to Justin Ledet.

Lightweight Vannata is looking to rebound after a decision loss to David Teymur that sapped his momentum after a spectacular wheel-kick knockout of John Makdessi this past December. Trujillo also needs a boost after a submission loss to James Vick, which snapped a three-fight win streak.

Lightweight Lentz mostly suffered a decision loss to Islam Makhachev, which brought his first loss since returning to the lightweight division from featherweight. Brooks has lost back-to-back fights in bouts against Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira, respectively.

One-time flyweight title challenger Moraga recently got back in the win column with a decision over Ashkan Mokhtarian in June, while Bibulatov puts his unbeaten record to the test after a debut decision against Jenel Lausa.

Flyweight Schnell is in dire need of a win after losses against Rob Font and Hector Sandoval in his first two UFC appearances. Beltran, meanwhile, has hit the skids with back-to-back losses after a trio of wins.

With the additions, the UFC 216 lineup now includes:

  • Evan Dunham vs. Beneil Dariush
  • Brad Tavares vs. Thales Leites
  • Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer
  • Lando Vannata vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
  • John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov
  • Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Santiago Ponzinibbio, other UFC Fight Night 113 winners?

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC’s second event in Scotland ended in stunning fashion when Santiago Ponzinibbio defeated Gunnar Nelson just 82 seconds into Sunday’s headliner at SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2) closed out the six-fight main card on FS1 with a thunderous finish of Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) to extend his winning streak to five and put his name on the radar of potential contenders in the welterweight division.

Prior to the Argentinian’s big moment, Cynthia Calvillo (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Paul Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), Jack Marshman (22-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Khalil Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Justin Willis (5-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned important victories.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 113’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Justin Willis

Justin Willis

Should fight: Mark Godbeer
Why they should fight: It was far from exciting, but Willis joined the UFC heavyweight division with a winning performance when he defeated James Mulheron by unanimous decision.

Willis and Mulheron are two of the many new signings who have come into the heavyweight division over the past several months. It wasn’t a performance that bred much desire to see him compete again, but hopefully Willis’ sophomore octagon appearance will shed some of the memories of the fight. Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is typically can put on an entertaining affair, and ideally his style would help pull something different out of “Big Pretty,” which is likely why he was booked as his debut opponent in the first place before withdrawing due to injury.

Khalil Rountree

Khalil Rountree

Should fight: Steve Bosse
Why they should fight: After a slow start to his UFC career, Rountree has seemingly turned a corner. He picked up his second consecutive knockout, this time brutalizing Scotland’s own Paul Craig with strikes in the first round.

Rountree dropped his first two UFC appearances and showed obvious flaws in the process. His past two fights have been completely different, though, and now “The Ultimate Fighter 23” finalist has some momentum behind him in the light heavyweight division.

If the 27-year-old can continue to put together his skill set he’s going to be an interesting fighter to watch at 205 pounds. Bosse (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is primarily a stand-up fighter, as well, and has shown throughout his UFC career that he packs a massive shot. Rountree has yet to meet his equal in the striking department inside the octagon, but Bosse might be that.

Jack Marshman

Jack Marshman

Should fight: Winner of Jack Hermansson vs. Bradley Scott at UFC Fight Night 114
Why they should fight: Despite being the biggest favorite on the card, Marshman barely escaped with victory when he avoided a late rally from Ryan Janes to earn a unanimous decision.

Marshman has alternated wins and losses over his three-fight UFC tenure, but the one constant theme in his fights has been excitement. The Welshman delivered another fan-pleasing performance against Janes, and if he can continue to produce those type of fights, will be a lasting member of the UFC’s middleweight division.

Two names also known for delivering entertaining bouts are Hermansson (15-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Scott (11-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who are scheduled to meet at UFC Fight Night 114 on Aug. 5. Both fighters would mesh well with Marshman inside the octagon, and more importantly, are logical matchups to take place on the UFC’s European circuit of events.

Paul Felder

Paul Felder

Should fight: Evan Dunham
Why they should fight: Felder crossed into enemy territory and delivered a statement performance when he put Stevie Ray to sleep in the first round of their lightweight bout in front of a hostile Scottish crowd.

“The Irish Dragon” showed no mercy for Ray, crushing him with devastating knees and elbows before the referee finally stopped the action just under 4 minutes into the contest. It was an emotional moment for Felder, who learned of his father’s passing just days before his training camp began.

Felder didn’t let the situation deter him, though, and he emerged with his fourth victory in five fights. His only setback in that stretch came in a September fight against Francisco Trinaldo that was called off by the doctor due to a gruesome cut.

There’s no doubt Felder wants to try to break his way into the 155-pound rankings, and facing a longtime veteran of the organization in Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) would be a significant opportunity. Dunham is capable of wearing down any opponent and breaking them over the course of 15 minutes. Felder has shown no instincts of quitting during his career, and that asset alone would make for a compelling affair.

Cynthia Calvillo

Cynthia Calvillo

Should fight: Carla Esparza
Why they should fight: Calvillo passed her toughest test to date when she went into Joanne Calderwood’s backyard and pulled off a unanimous-decision victory.

Calvillo has been part of the UFC roster for less than four months, but already she’s managed to go 3-0 with two pay-per-view main-card appearances and a co-main event spot on FS1. UFC President Dana White has made his adoration for Calvillo no secret, and it appears she’s on the fast track to the top.

After submitting her opponent in the first two UFC fights, Calvillo was forced to go to a decision and show off new elements of her game against Calderwood. She’s going to continue to improve with the support of a solid camp at Team Alpha Male, and at this point the sky could be the limit.

Calvillo is not yet at the level where she’s getting attention as a possible challenger for strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. However, with a few more solid wins, she will be right there. Assuming she keeps progressing at her current rate in terms of competition, a matchup with Esparza (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) could be the right fit.

Esparza was the first UFC 115-pound champion, but since then she’s had a bit of a rough run. “The Cookie Monster” is coming off a win over Maryna Moroz, and it would be interesting to see how her wrestling-oriented offensive style would clash with Calvillo’s slick grappling game.

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Should fight: Neil Magny
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Ponzinibbio should fight Magny (19-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Newly vocal Evan Dunham explains Al Iaquinta callout, also interested in Beneil Dariush

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Filed under: News, UFC

After eight years saying yes to whatever the UFC offered, lightweight Evan Dunham is calling his own shots for a change.

Dunham, who’s currently self-managed and has no fights booked, is looking to ascend the rankings of the “jammed-up” 155-pound division led by champ Conor McGregor. And, riding a four-fight streak with names such as Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson in the mix, Dunham believes he’s earned that opportunity.

That’s why, when the promotion threw some names he believed wouldn’t advance his career, Dunham decided to try something that seems to be working for some of his colleagues.

“I’ve always accepted what they gave me,” Dunham told MMAjunkie Radio. “And that’s part of the reason why I’m standing firm now. I’ve always said just, ‘Where do you want me? I’ll be there.’ But the way that the UFC is set up now, it’s really the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. If you’re out there saying what you want, and you want it, and you’re pointing it out, you’ve got a much better chance at getting it.

“I think if I didn’t ask for a fight above, I would look back and say, ‘Why the (expletive) didn’t I ask for a fight? Why did I just take what was given to me? Like that saying, ‘Close mouths don’t get fed?’ I need to speak up. Tell them what I want.”

While he hasn’t had this specific conversation with the matchmakers just yet, Dunham has made Twitter know – and in chart form, no less – exactly what is that he wants. And that’s fellow lightweight standout Al Iaquinta (via Twitter).

Currently ranked No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkieMMA lightweight rankings, Iaquinta’s name has certainly been popular a popular callout target since a UFC Fight Night 108 win over Diego Sanchez in April prompted yet another public falling out with the UFC brass.

While Iaquinta is riding a five-fight streak, he hadn’t fought in two years before the win over Sanchez. And he’s still not quite up there in the title contention line. So what is it about his name?

“He’s got some hype on his name because he keeps bitching and moaning about how much he’s getting paid,” Dunham said. “And I agree with Al Iaquinta that we are underpaid. Absolutely. But if you want to get paid more, there’s only solution. Either you need to, A: Not fight, not get paid at all.

“Or, B: You need to finish your contract, because you know what you signed when you got into it. Finish your contract, and renegotiate. That’s how it works. I think we’re underpaid absolutely, but you’re at a point where it’s kind of (expletive) or get off the pot.”

Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) understands Iaquinta’s (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) gripes and gets that it is in fact bringing him attention – even if it’s of the “weird” type. But, more than that, Dunham believes that a matchup between them simply makes sense.

“I get what Al is saying, a lot of the stuff I agree with him on,” Dunham said. “One of the reasons I came at him is because as you saw off the chart that I made, like I said in my comment to him, I’m your only option. And it’s true. It’s me and him at the top of that heap there, so if he wants to fight it’s kind of a no-brainer for him and I.”

While the pickings are slim, Iaquinta is still not Dunham’s only option. Another name he believes fits the bill, he says, is Beneil Dariush – who recently had a two-fight streak snapped by a second-round knockout loss to Edson Barboza.

“I think that would be a great fight,” Dunham said. “Because I know he’s a good jiu-jitsu guy, he hits hard, I think that’d be a real good fight. I know my standup game has been improving every single fight. My last few fights I feel more comfortable. I’m putting high numbers up there, volume over power.”

Another name in the title contention scene may arise from June 25’s UFC Fight Night 112, which features 155-pound standouts Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee as headliners. But, if Dunham’s hunch is correct and Lee is the victor there, we can forget about that matchup.

“I (fought training partners) already – let other guys do it at this point,” Dunham said. “Now I run a really small camp, and Kevin is one of the guys that I can call up and ask for help from. That would be shooting myself in the foot, to fight Kevin.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2467 with Evan Dunham and Simon Samano

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Evan Dunham and Simon Samano.

Dunham hopes to fight Al Iaquinta or any other top UFC lightweight since he’s healthy again and ready to fight. MMAjunkie assistant editor Samano was our in-studio guest host.
MMAjunkie assistant editor Simon Samano.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with UFC's Evan Dunham, Simon Samano

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Evan Dunham and Simon Samano.

Dunham, a UFC lightweight, is healthy again after an injury knocked him from a planned fight with Abel Trujillo earlier this year. He’ll be in the studio to talk about who he wants to fight next at the top of the division. Samano, an MMAjunkie assistant editor, will co-host the show in the studio for the second straight day.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie