The UFC 151 fallout continues. To make room for Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort on the main card of UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada, Evan Dunham vs TJ Grant has been moved off of the main card. The September 22nd card initally consisted of the following three fights on the main card plus Dunham vs Grant:
- Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson
- Matt Hamill vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
- Charles Oliveira vs. Cub Swanson
But now that Jones vs Belfort has been added, Dunham and Grant have been moved to the FX prelims. For fighters, being seen on the main card typically earns them more sponsorship dollars than being on a preliminary card.
Upon hearing the news Tuesday, Dunham posted on his Twitter:
Just got bumped from the main card. Not happy about it but fu** it we will still be FOTN.
— Evan Dunham (@evandunham155) August 28, 2012
Dunham was a guest on MMA Fight Corner this past Saturday and expressed his hope that his fight would not be bumped from the main card.
“Not that I know [where his fight will land on the card], I’m really hoping it’s not. I’m really hoping that. But from what I know, it’s still the main card. I’m really happy that I’m back on the main card it took me a couple of fights to get back there after a tough loss. I’m just ready to go up to Canada, even though I’m fighting a Canadian. I may be boo’ed on the way in, but I’ll be cheered on the way out.”
Dunham who’s been through his own up’s and down’s also talked about taking fights on short notice and how he’s dealt with it in his own career. When Kenny Florian withdrew from fighting Dunham on the UFC’s Fight for the Troops 2 main event in September 2011, he was replaced with Melvin Guillard on six weeks notice. “I was supposed to fight Florian and I was really excited about that, and Guillard’s a completely different fighter. In my opinion, he’s a more dangerous fighter. My manager called me and said ‘This is what they want you to do’. It wasn’t like I had the option. It’s not ‘Are you gonna take the fight?’ It’s ok, this is who your fighting. And you just got to roll with the punches and I was happy to do that. It was a great opportunity for me to be the main event for the Fight for the Troops 2. And there was no way in the world I was going to pass that up. I would have fought whoever they would have put in front of me. What happened, happened. I moved on from it and I think it made me a better fighter and I think it’s going to show on September 22nd.”
As far as what his thoughts were on Jon Jones and the UFC 151 fallout, Dunham believed that Jones should have taken on Chael Sonnen. “I definitely think he should have taken it. It’s one of those situations where they say ‘you want to fight this guy’ and you can’t say no. I don’t think there’s any question about whether he should have taken it or not.”
Dunham said what Jones did doesn’t fall within the mantra most fighters follow. Though Machida bowed out of fighting Jones at UFC 152, Dunham said Machida’s decision could be justified. ”He hasn’t been training for a fight like Jones has. I think a big thing that a lot of people are overlooking in this situation, their reading into a bunch of other stuff, but what it all breaks down to me is kind of the code of the fighter is to go out and fight whoever you need to and not worry about their game plan. That’s what a lot of fighters say going into a fight. ‘I’m not worried about what he’s gonna do, I’m gonna worry about what I gotta do’ and that’s exactly what Jones is not doing here. If he would have taken this fight and gone out and fought, that’s exactly what he would have been doing – not worry about Chael, do his own thing, fight his fight and probably come out a winner.”
The FX Prelims for UFC 152 now include the following fights:
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Igor Pokrajac
Evan Dunham vs. TJ Grant
Lance Benoist vs. Sean Pierson
Marcus Brimage vs. Jimy Hettes