Posts Tagged ‘Evan Dunham’

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To say Robert Follis is good at what he does is an understatement. Not only is he one of the lead trainers at Xtreme Couture, he’s also one of the best. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Follis heads one of the more intense, yet highly skillful Gi and No-Gi jiu-jitsu classes in all of Mixed Martial Arts. Training the likes of current Ultimate Fighting Championship stars such as Evan Dunham, Martin Kampmann and Chael Sonnen, along with legends like Dan Henderson and Randy Couture, Follis has risen in MMA lure as one of the greatest technique coaches of all-time.

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Follis got his start in Martial Arts at 22, when he was a bartender. “I was asked to throw someone out of the bar,” he said. “I didn’t know that was part of the job, so I told myself, ‘I better start training some Martial Arts’. I started working with one of the bouncers at the bar and that’s what got me started.” As his training progressed, he got wind of an up-and-coming fighter that was going to the UFC and needed some training partners. “I was training at a cutting-edge gym when I heard about [Randy] Couture needing someone to spar with,” Follis said. “No one really knew who he was at the time so I thought, ‘yea, I’ll go throw some punches at that guy.”
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Those training days turned into training nights, and soon a friendship blossomed between Couture and Follis. Eventually, a career was formed for Follis amidst all the training and sparring sessions, and he’s never looked back.

The son of a preacher, Follis has long taken after his father in order to get the full potential out of his students. Analogies are a big part of how Follis coaches, and says the use of them makes it easier for his students to correlate what he tries to bestow upon them in the MMA world.  “At one point, tying our shoes was extremely confusing,” he said. “The more you practiced it though, the easier it became. That’s exactly how jiu-jitsu is.”Image

His training with adolescents and young adults helps prepare them for where the sport may be heading in the future, no matter how adverse or challenging it may seem.

“You can be in massively good shape,” Follis said. “But if you doubt yourself and don’t believe in what you’re doing, you won’t succeed. Conversely, you can be the most positive thinker in the world but if you don’t ready your body, you will fail.”

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His love for the sport intertwines with his affection for changing people’s lives with what he teaches at the gym. The self-promoting change has been personal for Follis as he says it was Martial Arts that led him out of a place in his twenties where he lacked any direction and felt unsure of what he wanted in life.

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“Here’s what really makes me love Martial Arts and MMA,” Follis said. “It’s the ability to change your life solely based on the training. To take those lessons and apply them to facets of your life; that’s what it’s all about. That’s huge.”

Evan Dunham used to return home after long days of training at Xtreme Couture  and immediately begin thinking more about fighting. The local UFC lightweight would ponder areas he still needed to work on and  replay workout sessions in his mind. It was an exhausting routine. “I think, in the past, I obsessed over training a little bit too much,” Dunham said. “This time, it’s been nice to take my mind away here and  there.”

Dunham (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has enjoyed a healthy distraction headed into his  bout against Nik Lentz (21-4 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) Saturday at the United Center in  Chicago on the preliminary card of UFC on FOX 2. Dunham, 30, and his wife are  expecting their first child.  Ava Marie Dunham’s due date is only a couple weeks away, which will fulfill a  longtime desire of Evan’s to become a father.

“Instead of obsessing over a bunch of training stuff, I relaxed a lot and  went to doctor visits,” Dunham said. “I got to see how she was coming along.  It’s, more than anything, been a nice break on the mind.” Dunham’s increase in responsibilities doesn’t mean he’ll take it easy in  2012. As anyone who trains alongside him will attest, it’s a lost cause to try  to keep Dunham out of the gym.

Ideally, Dunham would like to fight four times this year. That would be the  most of his career since 2007 when he was making the rounds on the regional  circuit in the Pacific Northwest.

“I’ve got a lot of stuff to juggle,” Dunham said. “But I think it’s all  really good timing. I don’t plan on slowing down whatsoever.”

Slowing down doesn’t work in the 155-pound weight class. Lightweight is the  UFC’s deepest division, but Dunham hopes to pounce on an unforeseen opening this  year.

At this time last year, as many as six fighters were bunched toward the top  of the division awaiting a title shot. Dunham had lost two in a row and was  nowhere in their proximity.

But then, one by one, all the contenders improbably began falling victim to  upsets and losing their spots in the championship queue. Dunham, meanwhile,  obliterated Shamar Bailey with a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 25 to  break his skid.

If Dunham can beat Lentz and notch another victory or two, he’s right back  where he was in late 2010 as an undefeated fighter — near the top.“I definitely see that,” Dunham said. “I plan on putting on a big performance  this weekend and taking that big step up in competition. I want one of these  guys vying for the title. I want 2012 to be the year for me, so I’ve got to stay  active.”

Dunham barely talks about his two losses. He says he’s all but forgotten  about the highly questionable split decision that judges awarded to Sean Sherk  over him at UFC 119 and the first-round knockout loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC  Fight Night 23.

Unlike many other fighters who go through a losing streak, Dunham didn’t make  any major changes or overhaul anything about his approach. He kept moving  forward with what helped him win four fights in the UFC to begin with. “Same ole Evan,” Xtreme Couture teammate Mike Pyle said. “He’s just a  hard-nosed, hard-working guy.”

Dunham, because he’s a southpaw, helped Pyle prepare for his bout against  Ricardo Funch at UFC 142 earlier this month. Pyle, who defeated Funch with a  first round TKO, said using Dunham as a primary training partner was  invaluable.

“Man, he’s looking sharp,” Pyle said. “I’m really looking forward for him to  take Lentz to school and box his face up a bit.” That’s precisely Dunham’s plan. Making it easy would be nice, because he’s  got to get back to Las Vegas in time to deliver a baby.

“Up until recently, I was never in a position to take something like this  on,” Dunham said. “But now things have panned out good for me, I’m in a position  to do that and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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Xtreme Couture’s Evan Dunham is ready for UFC Fight Night 25 on September 17 against Shamar Bailey, with the two squaring off on the Facebook prelim card.  ’3-D’ enters the bout on a two fight losing skid, after going 11-0 with losses to Melvin Guillard and Sean Sherk.

’3-D’ spoke to UFC.com about his upcoming fight, as well as his thoughts on the status of the UFC’s lightweight division.

“They will be coming at me harder and I usually thrive when people want to make it a fight,” he said. “It’s cool with me and just reinforces the idea that I belong in there as well. I still have a lot to prove and a lot more fights in me that I want in the UFC. If he wants to try and take away what I’ve worked hard for then he’s got something coming.”

“There are a lot of really tough guys that are hungry in the division, and it’s a pond full of sharks in my opinion,” he said. “No fight’s an easy fight, and you hear everybody say it, but I truly believe it’s the toughest division in the UFC. What really gets me up in the morning is that I’m living my dream and fighting in the organization that I love. There’s no other place in the world that I’d want to be. So knowing that every fight is going to be a war definitely makes you train hard, and you can’t slack if you want to make it, and I definitely don’t.”

Xtreme Couture MMA home of some of the best MMA fighters like Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, Gray Maynard, Jay Hieron, Evan Dunham, Tyson Griffin, Mike Pyle and Forrest Griffin just to name a few, who all call Xtreme Couture their home would like to invite you to our Open House.

When:  Saturday September 10th, 2011 from 9am – 4pm

We’ll have Free snacks, drinks and will  offer  four  – 30 minute classes every hour so you’ll have plenty to try out.

Xtreme Couture offers classes for kids (ages 6 and up),  teen classes, women and mens of all technical levels and disciplines.

Did we mention it is all for FREE plus if you sign-up that day  we will waive the $100 enrollment fee!

With memberships starting at just $20 a month you have to come down to see it for your self.

If that wasn’t enough for you we have a special meet and greet with top UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and other high level MMA fighters from 1pm – 2pm.

For more information please call the gym at 702.616.1022

Source: UFC.com

The UFC announced today that Tyson Griffin will make his featherweight debut against former top contender Manvel “Manny” Gamburyan at UFC on Versus 4.

“Highly-ranked Manvel Gamburyan and the always-exciting Tyson Griffin have verbally agreed to face one another June 26,” said UFC President Dana White.

Formerly a UFC lightweight competitor, Gamburyan dropped to the featherweight division in the summer of 2009 and rattled off three wins in that division (including a stunning knockout over former champ Mike Brown) to earn a title shot against current 145lbs. kingpin Jose Aldo. The Brazilian phenom made short work of Gamburyan, knocking him out early in the second round at WEC 51. Gamburyan has not appeared in the cage since that fight, which went down in September of last year.

Griffin is currently on a three-fight losing skid (though his latest defeat, a split decision to Nik Lentz, was found to be controversial by many), having posted defeats to Evan Dunham (split decision), Takanori Gomi (knockout) and Nik Lentz (split decision). This will be his first fight at 145 lbs.

UFC Live on Versus 4 will take place on June 26, 2011. A location for the event has not yet been announced.

Instructors from Xtreme Couture teamed up at the North American Grapplng Association (NAGA) in Las Vegas on March 4th to demonstrate grappling techniques to the crowd.  NAGA holds events all over the United States and is one of the largest grappling tournaments in the world.  Pictured below are (far left)-John Hahn, Jimmy Jones, Kui Gonsalves, Dennis Davis and students.  Pictured (far right)-Kui Gonsalves, Dennis Davis, John Hahn and Jimmy Jones with student participant.

   

With only 3 weeks away the Xtreme Couture 3 Day training camp run by MMA Legend Randy “the Natural” Couture is down to just 12 spots left.

As Randy prepares for his fight against Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 you get a chance to train with Randy while he is in his training camp!

Randy will explain to you his conditioning routine with our Fitness Coach Jake Bonacci and how Randy developed his own supplement line called XCAP (www.xcap.tv)  which is used by top atheletes. 

As if the 3 days of training with Randy and Xtreme Couture trainers Neil Melanson and Gil Martinez wasn’t enough to keep you busy, we have added a 10 fight  kickboxing exhibition event at the gym Saturday night!

You’ll get to see in person some of the next great up and coming MMA fighters while sitting next to MMA greats like Randy Couture, Ryan Couture, Gray Maynard, Mike Pyle, Tyson Griffin, Forrest Griffin, Evan Dunham and MANY MORE!!

Click Here For Detailed Information on the Camp