Lightweight prospect Evan Dunham took another step towards title contention tonight, defeating Nik Lentz via doctor stoppage.
The first round of the fight was competitive, with both men landing on the feet and both men scoring takedowns. The round could have been awarded to either man.
However, Dunham turned up the heat for round two, bringing the fight to the ground at will and damaging Lentz's face with ground-and-pound.
By the end of the second round, Lentz's left eye was swollen to the point that it was almost closed, and the on-site doctor decided it would be unsafe for him to continue.
With this win, Dunham is officially back on track, having lost back to back fights to Sean Sherk and Melvin Guillard at the end of 2010 and early in 2011.
Now, Dunham is riding a two-fight win streak and is starting to build the kind of momentum that could get him into title contention.
So, what's next for Evan Dunham?
Well, a win over Nik Lentz doesn't mean too much in the stacked lightweight division. But, because Dunham was at one point considered a title prospect, he should receive a significant step up in competition for his next fight.
One possibility is Edson Barboza.
Barboza is also considered a prospect and is coming off a huge win over Terry Etim.
Dunham may also receive the loser of of a high-profile match, like Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis.
Who Dunham will face next is still uncertain, but one thing is for sure—this up-and-comer is just two or three wins away from title contention.