Evan Dunham. Sean Sherk. UFC 119.
This one is going to be one hell of a fight, that's really all I can say to kick this thing off.
Now, Sherk hasn't fought since he lost to Frankie Edgar and Dunham is coming off of a win over Tyson Griffin, so on paper, the edge lies with Dunham.
I don't like going too much by things that are "on paper", so let me go deep on this one.
First off, we're not talking about a local guy who will be debuting against Dunham in a fight that would be opportune time to catch up on your reading, okay?
We're talking about The Muscle Shark, Sean Sherk.
This is a man who has fought some of the best of the best, from Matt Hughes to BJ Penn, and he beat Kenny Florian in KenFlo's first ever UFC Title fight.
We're talking about a man who is one of the sport's most electric lightweights in terms of speed and agility, but we're also talking about a man with some of the sport's best wrestling ability.
That wrestling, coupled with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu and his sick boxing, is what he'll need Saturday night.
He also has to worry about a guy who may not have the Boxing that he does, but with Dunham, there's a young undefeated lion with some tremendous knockout power for Sherk to deal with.
Much like himself also, Dunham carries an aggressive style in fights and always looks to push his opponents every time.
He did it with Efrain Escudero, he did it with Per Eklund, and he did it with Tyson Griffin, and none of those guys are easy pickings for anyone.
Dunham just made them look like they were, and Sherk has to know that.
This kid is young, and he's going to want to make people forget who Sean Sherk is as a fighter.
He's going to want to physically dissect and dismember Sherk and make it seem like anyone could have beaten him.
So what should Sherk do?
He should make sure that he's the first to let a shot fire, for one.
He should be able to use his boxing, use his footwork, and maybe use some leg kicks to make Dunhams uncomfortable on his feet.
Not only will it slow Dunham down and force him to take some time to circle around the cage to rethink his strategy, but if Dunham slows down only to move forward slowly, he's inviting Sherk to take him down.
That's where Sherk goes in, shoots, and gets that takedown he loves.
Sherk has to move fast though, because if he tries to methodically take apart Dunham like Jon Fitch, Dunham is going to catch wind of it, and he's going to make him pay for it.
My advice to Sherk: if you get Dunham on the ground, work your way into full mount and make sure you ground and pound the daylights out of Dunham.
Otherwise, Dunham could use his own BJJ to get a submission win, and then we'll all be remembering the name "Evan Dunham" for a long, long time.
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