Evan Dunham hopes to win for Las Vegas at UFC 216

Las Vegan Evan Dunham believes his infant daughter may have sensed something evil in the air on Sunday night.

“She just wouldn’t fall asleep,” the UFC lightweight veteran said. “It was about 2 in the morning when she finally went out. I think she kind of knew something was up.

“But when she fell asleep, that’s when I finally pulled out my phone and saw what was going on.”

Dunham, who will fight Beneil Dariush on the UFC 216 card Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, has a clear view of Mandalay Bay from his home.

“I looked out and it looked so normal from a distance,” he said of his view of the hotel from which Stephen Paddock rained bullets on concertgoers across the street and killed 58 people. “But to know what was going on down there was just so surreal.”

Dunham was up all night following news reports and texting friends making sure everyone was OK. He eventually found out the co-worker of one of his close friends, who Dunham had just met for the first time a week earlier, was among the deceased.

“It was just super sad,” he said. “Everyone in Vegas was affected it by it. Even if it’s just knowing someone who knew someone. We’re a small community. People don’t think of it that way. Around the country, they see it as a place to come in and leave, but people who live here know it’s a strong community. I think it will even unite us a little more, but there’s not really much positive you can take out of something like this.”

Dunham, 35, hopes to get a win on Saturday to help start the healing process in whatever small way he can.

“I’m really excited for this fight,” said Dunham, who has won four straight. “I’m in a good spot in my career and I’m ready to go in and carry Vegas on my shoulders to a ‘W.’”

He knows he’ll have to keep his emotions in check.

“Part of me wants to go out there and just forget the game plan and just scrap hard like I used to,” Dunham said. “I’m a little smarter than that now, but my goal is to go out there and get a win for the city. It’s the first big event since it all happened.”

Dunham hopes fans and tourists aren’t concerned for their safety. His wife and daughter will be in attendance for the fight and while he knows the atmosphere may be tense, Dunham is confident in security and law enforcement.

“I told my wife, ‘Be aware,’” Dunham said. “I’m sure nothing is going to happen. I have entire faith in the police out here. They do a fantastic job and I’m sure they will continue to do a fantastic job keeping everyone safe now and in the future, but the world is different now.”

The bout will lead off the main card at 7 p.m.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like