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UFC 119: Sean Sherk Beats Evan Dunham

In a battle of a 37-year-old former UFC lightweight champion and a 28-year-old who may be a future champion, it was the veteran Sean Sherk who walked away with a split decision win over Evan Dunham Saturday at UFC 119.

The fans in Indianapolis booed the decision in a very close fight that could have gone either way, leading Sherk to complain in the Octagon afterward.

"The crowd wants to boo? We just came out here and put on a great performance for you guys," Sherk said. "You guys should be happy."

Sherk slammed Dunham to the ground early in the first round and wound up in a guillotine choke, but he managed to pull his head free. From there Sherk stayed on top and stayed in control for a few minutes, but Dunham managed to break free and sink in a choke so deep that UFC announcer Mike Goldberg actually declared the fight over. In fact, not only was Sherk not finished, but he got right back on top of Dunham and landed an elbow that opened a huge cut near Dunham's eye. Despite Dunham twice being close to choking Sherk out, it was a round that Sherk mostly controlled.

Early in the second round Dunham had yet another tight guillotine choke, but Sherk once again pulled free. Sherk re-opened Dunham's cut and turned his face into a bloody mess, but Dunham was getting the better end of the stand-up exchanges late in the round, and that could have stolen it on the judges' scorecards.

Dunham hurt Sherk with a body kick early in the third round and out-classed Sherk in the stand-up, taking advantage of his significant height and reach advantage to land strikes and then move out of the way before Sherk could land anything. Dunham was pouring it on at the end of the fight, but it was too late for two of the judges, who gave the fight to Sherk 29-28. One judge gave it to Dunham 29-28.

Sherk improved his record to 33-4-1, while Dunham lost the first fight of his career and fell to 11-1.