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Evan Dunham: Guillard's New Style Is One Way to Fight, but Not My Way

Of all the people who were outraged over the judges' decision that gave Sean Sherk a win over Evan Dunham at UFC 119, the first one to let it go and move past it might have been Dunham himself.

Others – including UFC president Dana White – can put a mental asterisk next to the defeat in the record books if they want, but don't expect Dunham to join in.

"I definitely had a period where I thought a lot more about it, but it's over. It's done," said Dunham. "I don't think [Sherk] won that fight, but I see it for what it is. I don't think about it too much anymore. I've got better things to do, like get ready to fight on the 22nd. It was a good experience, and it felt good to perform well against someone of his caliber, but when you look at it on paper, whether it's now or five years from now, it's a loss."

Only the UFC didn't necessarily treat it that way. Instead of the split decision defeat knocking Dunham down a peg or two in the organization, he was given a high profile fight against Kenny Florian for his next outing. It was exactly the kind of fight Dunhm was hoping for, he said. Then an injury to Florian yanked the opportunity out from under him.

Now Dunham faces Melvin Guillard on Saturday night's Fight for the Troops 2 event in a bout that might lack some of the original name value, but still involves plenty of risk.

"Florian would have been a good fight because he's got a name and he'd be a good guy to have a win over, but I think anybody who's knowledgeable about the sport knows who Melvin Guillard is and knows he's a dangerous fighter," said Dunham. "I'm not taking him lightly by any means. In my mind, he's just as dangerous as Florian, if not more."

One of the things that makes Guillard especially dangerous these days is the fact that he has Greg Jackson in his corner. Since joining the Jackson team in Albuquerque, Guillard has traded his once recklessly aggressive style for a more measured, strategic approach. He's also racked up a three-fight win streak, even if he caught some heat from fans for his conservative game plan in a split decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 119.

"I think that's a style to take when you want to win the round without getting into too many exchanges," Dunham said of Guillard's most recent win. "It's one way to fight, but it's definitely not my way to fight."

But with a strategist like Jackson, it's a near certainty that Guillard will come in with a plan for dealing with Dunham's high-pressure, fast-paced attack. Guillard will probably have a strategy that's the result of countless viewings of Dunham's past fights, and by fight night everyone in the Jackson camp will know exactly what he likes to do and how he likes to do it.

That's fine, according to Dunham, but it doesn't mean he's going to lose any sleep over it. It doesn't even mean he's going to try to match Guillard in the strategy department, or that he thinks it particularly matters once the cage door shuts.

"It's great to go in and have a game plan and all that, but when it comes down to it, we're fighting," said Dunham. "Fighting is not that difficult if you have a solid game all the way around. If you have a solid game, you're ready for whatever comes your way. So I'm not going to spend hours and hours sitting in front of the TV and studying someone when I could be at the gym improving myself."

The key, according to Dunham, is making Guillard fight. Pushing him until he reverts to the reckless fighter he used to be, rather than the more careful fighter he has become.

If he can pull that off, said Dunham, then not only will the fight be in his waters, it will also be the kind of show that the troops at Fort Hood deserve.

"They work really hard and I think they deserve some good entertainment," he said. "I don't know about Melvin, but I'm ready to go out there and deliver that for them."

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