“I wanted to stand with him. When he came in for the shot just try to stuff the shot and frustrate him. He got me down. I was truly relieved he couldn’t hold me down. I think I got complacent in the first round. When he was on top of me I found myself thinking, “Why? Why are you down here? Why are you staying down here? Get up.” When I made that decision in my mind to standup I think I was able to do it. I took some shots before I made that decision. I was being too complacent. Lesson learned.”
Those were Evan Dunham's comments about his game plan following his split decision loss to Sean Sherk. In the fight Sherk continually took Dunham down but could not keep him on the mat. Sherk was forced to defend multiple submission attempts from Dunham when the fight went to the ground. On the feet, Dunham seemed to get the better of Sherk by using his reach advantage.
When asked about his loss to Sherk; Dunham responded: “It’s definitely bittersweet. More bitter than sweet. A loss is a loss.”
The loss was Dunham's first his career and brought his record to 11-1. Many of the fans in attendance felt that Dunham deserved the victory and booed the decision to let their feelings be known. MMA Junkie and MMA Weekly both scored the fight 29-28 for Dunham in their live play-by-play.
Even though Dunham lost the fight he is only 28 years old and it was the first loss of his career and Sherk is a former UFC lightweight champion. Sherk after the fight stated that he believed that Dunham could become the UFC lightweight champion before his career is over. Dunahm has above average striking and excellent submission skills, but needs to improve his takedown defense to be able to defeat the elite wrestlers that reside in the lightweight division, and make Sherk's prediction come true.
Dunham's stock hasn't taken much of a hit after the close loss to Sherk and a fight against Clay Guida could show if Dunham belongs in the conversation of the top fighters in the lightweight division. Also Guida is a good wrestler and would test Dunham's takedown defense.