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No Surprise Here: Evan Dunham is Taking His Screwjob Loss Like a Total Champ


(Two entirely appropriate responses to the judges’ verdict. PicProps: Our Man J-Dawg)

Besides an affinity for horrifying Oregon Ducks gear, there isn’t much to dislike about Evan Dunham. In fact, in the wake of UFC 119 you could say Dunham has positioned himself as sort of an “Anti-Frank Mir” in MMA circles, emerging from his split decision loss to Sean Sherk looking like a winner, while the former UFC heavyweight champion emerged from his KO win looking like a loser. Given the near-unanimous public sentiment that Dunham got the “No Vaseline” treatment at 119, it will be interesting to see if the UFC simply ignores the amazing incompetence of the ringside officials on Saturday night and keeps the kid full-speed-ahead on his rise to a title shot.

Signs point to yes, as the always subtle UFC President took to his Twitter immediately after the official verdict to announce Dunham had been “robbed!” Meanwhile, Dunham himself — if his recent postfight with MMA Junkie is any indication — seems to be taking a far pluckier approach to his first professional loss.


As if laying out a blueprint for the most likable way for a fighter to handle a controversial defeat, Dunham describes his immediate plans as: "Get back in the gym, train my ass off, correct the mistakes I made, and go win some damn fights.”

"It’s one of these fights that’s very open to interpretation," Dunham explains. "I think I won the fight. Do I think it was really, really close? Yes, I do. But whatever … (Sherk) deserves a win. I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy, and it was a pleasure to fight him. I’d love to fight him again. I know I could beat him if I fought him again."

The Dunham-Sherk battle – for my money the best bout on last weekend’s card – again brought to the fore just how “open to interpretation” scoring an MMA fight can be. No one in the world seems to have a good handle on how to score failed submission attempts, or escapes, or whether Sherk’s takedowns and the fact he split Dunham open with one good elbow should’ve outpointed Dunham’s striking and litany of near-miss chokes. Even without all that, Dunham’s ability to negate Sherk’s offense by getting up off his back, coupled with his clear dominance on the feet should’ve been enough. Unfortunately, any sport that includes a phrase as slippery as “Octagon control” in its major judging criteria is going to have some gray areas. It’s just that sometimes those gray areas irrevocably screw up somebody’s 11-0 record. When that happens, it sure sucks.

Dunham, naturally, chooses to blame himself, which we can all agree is the appropriate response from an up-and-coming young fighter.

"What all this comes down to is that it’s my fault that I lost because I didn’t finish him," he says. "When you don’t finish somebody, you’re subject to the judges’ scrutiny. I don’t place blame on anybody. It’s my fault that I did not go out there and finish him, and I needed to finish him."

The self-imposed punishment extends to more than words. Dunham implies to the Junkie that he’s not going to allow himself to spend any of his $70,000 Fight of the Night bonus, because he “doesn’t reward a loss.” He’s just going to put it in the bank and let it sit there.

Well, that seems a little extreme, frankly.   

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ThrashingMad- September 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm
I'm sure Frank Mur would take that $70,000 off Dunham's hands for him.
Charming Charlie- September 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm
I've been known to locate a bag of dicks, from time to time.
fatbellyfrank- September 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm
Good attitude, good fighter, looking forward to seein how far he can go,
@Portland MMA, get in touch with Drano, he can acquire a bag-o-dicks or ten, depending on your requirements
Clyde- September 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm
I didn't think anyone had really been blaming Sherk for winning a bad decision. The guy took a hell of a beating towards the end and kept going. I wouldn't have aproblem with Dunham saying that he deserved it more than Sherk; sure it sounds a little bit like sour grapes, but looking at it objectively, he'd be right.

Can't knock his atitude of just shake it off and get back on the horse.

Thanks for the classic cube BTW. Much better than that Dougie shit you had on last week. Or $kala.
superflat- September 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm
A lot of people have been blaming the more lackluster 119 fights on the UFC's "one loss you're out" policy. Dunham -- and Lytle and Serra -- are proof that they don't have such a policy. If you can make the fight look competitive and exciting, you probably won't be fired.
danomite- September 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm
I guess I'm going to have to add Dunham to my small "fighters i actually like" list.
eatthecage- September 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm
It was definately a far cry from sucker punching someone after you lose then failing to make weight for the venue you've been banished to. Holy god I hate Daley.
JaredB- September 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm
Sherk has like an 11 year career and 4 losses, and like five times the amount of fights Dunham has been in. Dunham took home a big bonus and came out of the fight looking like a million bucks against a guy whose only Octagon losses in his weight class were to the current and former champion (and those out of it to freaking Matt Hughes in his absolute prime and GSP!). I didn't think the decision was as awful as some recent UFC atrocities but I probably would've went with Dunham for how he outstruck him overall in the fight and in the third. Sherk looked game though, everybody wrote him off for the injury layoff and when you lose your last fight you're dirt, even if it's to the guy who went on to win the belt.
Mr_Misanthropy- September 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm
That's a bountiful bushel of dicks.
MoTropolis- September 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Well atleast your sharing. Nobody likes a cock hoarder.
PortlandMMA- September 28, 2010 at 11:47 am
Costco and homo-eroticism
MoTropolis- September 28, 2010 at 11:35 am
@PortlandMMA

Why are you squirreling away so many dicks?
PortlandMMA- September 28, 2010 at 11:31 am
Everyone needs to quit talking shit about my Ducks, you're all probably jealous because you're fans of shitty teams...Also if anyone is a Boise State fan I'd like to cordially invite you to eat 33 dicks. Bes' check ya tone before I make your inside voice an outside voice.
yeehaa2k- September 28, 2010 at 11:29 am
You have to be either Cecil peoples or swinging from sherk's nuts to think that sherk won that fight.
jgrant- September 28, 2010 at 11:06 am
The writer here is right: Aside from his loyalty to the Ducks, there is nothing not to like about Evan Dunham. Great fighter, good head on his shoulders. This guy's awesome.
Videodrome_NOW- September 28, 2010 at 10:51 am
I think you have to take into account that Sherk dropped one of the most wicked elbow strikes of all time. With that being said, Dunham's heart=second to none. That cut was worse than James Irvin's "vagina cut" after he fought Anderson.
RwilsonR- September 28, 2010 at 10:49 am
@ MKO and ihateemo - I agree. People seem to be shitting on Sherk a lot, but he still did a great job in round 1, and an okay job in round 2. This was far from the worst decision I have ever seen since this fight at least had some nice back and forths. And I don't think it is fair for people to say Sherk only scored ONE elbow. He did some decent GnP before that elbow opened the cut. And the fight was unecessarily broken up and restarted in the middle when Dunham's head started spouting blood, and that ruined a lot of Sherk's momentum at the end of round 1.

That being said, I still thought Dunham won round 2 and 3. And it would be hard to argue that if the fight continued that Dunham would have probably put Sherk away in Round 4.

Still, I thought both did a great job. This shouldn't hurt either guy in the long run, and that is ultimately what both deserve, since they both fought really fucking hard. Dunham will still move up the ranks.
Bruce_Buffer- September 28, 2010 at 10:45 am
Good sport! And what a rip off that decision was!

I was a big fan before, but seeing his improved striking, and now that i know hes as into compound interest as i am, I cant help but put him in the favorites list.
ihateemo- September 28, 2010 at 10:43 am
I really thought Sherk was going to be over the hill, but he fought like a motherfucker on Saturday and looked - GASP! - exciting doing so.
MKO- September 28, 2010 at 10:36 am
Was it really that bad of a decision? Sherk clearly won the first round, and I though the second could go either way. Regardless, tons of potential in Dunham.
Viva Hate- September 28, 2010 at 10:35 am
Finally after some douche stories we have something good and positive to read. Quickly becoming a fan.

cecils_pupils- September 28, 2010 at 10:33 am
Smart kid - that's the future LW champ right there.
C-Bus Allstar- September 28, 2010 at 10:33 am
Pure class.
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