Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vancouver's UFC 115 Gets A Third Likely Bout: Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham

The latest likely edition to UFC 115 in Vancouver was announced today and involves a pair of lightweight training partners at the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas-- Tyson Griffin (14-2, 7-2 UFC) and Evan Dunham (10-0, 3-0 UFC).

The rumoured bout would join Pat Barry (5-1) vs. Gilbert Yvel (36-14-1) and, of course, Kelowna's own Rory MacDonald (10-0) vs. Carlos Condit (24-5) on the quickly-growing card.

Tyson Griffin is a wildly entertaining wrestler and striker who is known for keeping up a high pace. He has scored several "Fight Of The Night" bonuses as well as victories over the likes of Clay Guida (25-11), Gleison Tibau (20-6), and Rafael Dos Anjos (13-4). After scoring his five previous wins by decision, and earning an unfortunate reputation as a non-finisher, Griffin finally broke out of that slump at UFC 103 by TKO'ing former title-challenger Hermes Franca (19-9) in the second round. Griffin will look to build on that momentum in beautiful British Columbia this summer.

Evan Dunham, opened a lot of eyes in the co-main event of last November's Ultimate Fight Night 20, when he finished Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Efrain Escudero (12-1, 2-1 UFC) with a slick armbar in the third round of a very close fight. Dunham is a powerful lightweight who likes to drag opponents to the mat to look for submissions, but is also comfortable standing. Despite having less MMA experience, Dunham (28) is actually three years older than Tyson Griffin (25).

To bill this as a showdown between training partners is somewhat misleading. Griffin has been a mainstay at Xtreme Couture for years and is often cornered by Randy himself, while Dunham only recently joined the Las Vegas gym. Besides that, Team Xtreme Couture is an unusually large group in which the camaraderie between each of the many fighters is necessarily diluted. As such, fights between Xtreme Couture fighters are actually fairly common.

If it is made official, this fight will almost surely be slotted in on the main card fight at UFC 115, which means there could be as few as two PPV fights left to be announced for the event on June 12th, 2010. It has also been rumoured, though with much less certainty, that Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz III may go down in Vancouver.

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