It’s only been two weeks since the last UFC event but I’m already suffering withdrawal symptoms, so it’s probably just as well we’re now only a week away from UFC Fight For The Troops 2, headlined by talented lightweight contender Evan Dunham who takes on the on-form Melvin Guillard.

In a new interview Dunham appraises his upcoming opponent, and gives him respect for Guillard’s skills in an area many people point to as a weakness.

“Melvin, he’s a really explosive, well rounded fighter,” Dunham says in his pre-fight interview. “I think a lot of people don’t give his ground credit. If you look at the people he’s fought recently, high level black belts, and he’s beat them, he’s survived on the ground.”

With a CV littered with KO and TKO victories, Guillard’s striking prowess is well recognized, but Dunham is well prepared and believes he has the tools as his disposal to swing the fight in his favor.

“I think I present a lot of problems for him. I think I’ll be able to dictate what goes on, take the fight where I want it. I’m not going to go in there and trade one shot for one shot, I’ve been working a lot of footwork and muay thai, and I think I can give him a look he’s not used to and give him lots of problems from it, and be able to win the fight that way.”

A controversial loss to former champion Sean Sherk last time out is the only blemish on Dunham’s 12 fight career so far, and has done little to dampen the belief that he’s one of the top contenders at 155lbs. The 29 year-old himself admits that he still has his sights firmly set on the belt, but that he’s willing to put in the work to earn the right to fight for it.

“My goal in life is to become the lightweight champion at some point. I know it’s not an easy road and I know it’s probably going to take some time, but I don’t plan on going anywhere and I’m going to take the right steps to get there.”

A win over Guillard, who’s currently on a three fight winning streak, on January 22nd will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Check out Dunham’s full interview below.