Evan Dunham opted for a cautious gameplan against Ross Pearson tonight at UFC Fight Night 72, using clinch work and takedowns to grind his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Dunham with an early head kick that’s blocked. He tries another and misses the target.
Slow feeling out process here for the most part. Right hand lands for Pearson. Dunham pushes forward with a takedown attempt and dumps Pearson to the mat. Nicely done, but it’s not long before the TUF winner stands back up again.
Dunham still clinching up with him though and then thumps him back to the mat again. Dunham takes Pearson’s back and is in a good position here early in the fight.
Dunham with the body triangle and looking to soften up his opponent while he looks for a rear-naked choke opportunity. So far Pearson is able to defend. However, suddenly Dunham changes things up and goes for an armbar attempt. It’s deep and Pearson is writhing around the floor trying desperately to find a way out of this bad spot. Luckily for him he manages to do just that and is back on his feet.
Pearson tries to wade in and land strikes just as the round comes to a close.
Dunham misses with a head kick. Dunham ducks under a punch and gets the takedown.
Dunham working from full guard. Eventually Perason manages to get to a knee and hopes to stand, but Pearson is landing some knees and then takes his back. He tries to hoist him up for another takedown, but Pearson defends and stays up.
Dunham still on him though and Pearson is down on one knee again as Dunham climbs onto his back. Pearson stands and Dunham slides off temporarily. Soon after Dunham gets Pearson back down again though and from the back clamps on the body triangle again for more control.
Heading towards the final minute of the round with Dunham cuffing his opponents head with punches. Now to the body and then back to the head. Dunham thinking about an armbar again, but Pearson avoids it this time and makes it to the buzzer. All Dunham so far.
Dunham starts with a head kick as he has in each of the three rounds, but it’s blocked.
Pearson lands a body punch as Dunham tries to kick. Dunham ducks a hook and goes for the takedown, but this time Pearson stuffs it.
Pearson lands a body kick. He stops another takedown attempt from Dunham.
Dunham with a body punches and in on the takedown, but again Pearson prevents it. This time Dunham remains clinched up though, pressing Dunham against the cage.
Elbow from Dunham. He keeps looking for the takedown, but it’s just not happening and Pearson manages to move out landing a couple of knees before breaking free.
Dunham is giving him no room to operate though, immediately going back to the clinch against the cage. A little space for Pearson just for a second and he lands a knee.
90 seconds to go and Pearson is continuing to have to defend the takedown attempts when really he needs to get away and find a finish on the feet.
Dunham just keeping up the pressure on the cage though to keep him occupied in the final minute of the round. Knee from Pearson and Dunham does then get him down once more just as the buzzer sounds.
It was all Dunham here and he grinds his way to a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).