He most recently faced training partner and highly-touted veteran contender Tyson Griffin, defeating Griffin in a big upset via split decision despite winning all three rounds with obviously superior striking and prodigal back control.
He next faced former lightweight champion Sean Sherk, suffering his first loss via a controversial split decision to Sherk. The fight was clearly a 29-28 victory for Sherk despite Dunham's impressive late success in the third round. Dunham will still be going places, he will still challenge for a title some day. I guarantee it.
Dunham was next set to face longtime contender and current gatekeeper Kenny Florian. The fight was then announced to headline the second Fight for the Troops free event. Unfortunately about a month before the bout was set to occur, Florian had to withdraw with an injury. Melvin Guillard stepped up from the undercard to face Dunham. Guillard knocked Dunham out brutally with a series of knees after rocking him with punches standing. The last knee of the sequence was certainly illegal, but it was already over by that point.
Dunham was next set to face George Sotiropoulos in a fight that fans had been waiting for. Unfortunately, Dunham was injured shortly before the bout would take place. Rafael Dos Anjos stepped in as his replacement.
After recovering, Dunham faced debuting TUF star Shamar Bailey. He defeated the tough Bailey via dominant unanimous decision. Bailey asked to come train with Dunham and Dunham heartily welcomed the idea.Dunham next signed to face undefeated British triangle expert Paul Sass. Sass was soon injured and replaced by blanketing wrestler Nik Lentz. Dunham defeated Lentz via doctor stoppage between the second and third rounds. The fight earned Fight of the Night awards.
Instead Dunham next signed to face dangerous Brazilian striker Edson Barboza. Dunham was injured shortly before the bout was scheduled to take place and he was replaced by former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner.
Dunham next faced TJ Grant, losing an exciting and bloody unanimous decision that won Dunham's third Fight of the Night award in his past five fights.
Dunham next signed to face fellow veteran Gleison Tibau. He defeated Tibau via an exciting decision after Tibau gassed a bit.
Dunham was offended by a journalist saying that he would be "murdered by someone like Rafael Dos Anjos or Khabib Nurmagomedov." Dunham called out Dos Anjos and got the fight against him for May 2013 in Dos Anjos's native Brazil. Dos Anjos defeated Dunham via a controversial decision.
Dunham next signed to fight WEC veteran Donald Cerrone. After a back-and-forth contest Cerrone defeated a game Dunham via second round triangle choke submission.
Dunham next signed to fight Mark Bocek. Dunham was unfortunately injured a little over a week before the fight.
After recovering he signed to fight Edson Barboza. Dunham lost his third straight fight via first round TKO after being dropped by a body kick.
Dunham next signed to fight Rodrigo Damm in a definite loser-leaves-town matchup, dominating Damm on the feet en route to a unanimous decision.
Dunham then fought fellow veteran Ross Pearson, fighting smart and defeating Pearson via a clearcut if not entirely fan-friendly unanimous decision.
Dunham next signed to fight another fellow veteran in Joe Lauzon. He defeated Lauzon via an impressively clearcut unanimous decision.
- Evan Dunham vs. Per Eklund - The lightweight bout was undefeated Dunham's UFC debut. After the fight, Per Eklund was cut.
- Marcus Aurelio vs. Evan Dunham - Dunham came into the fight undefeated. Marcus Aurelio came in on short notice replacing an injured Matt Veach.
- Evan Dunham vs. Efrain Escudero - Both fighters came in undefeated and it was Efrain Escudero's first loss.
- Sean Sherk vs. Evan Dunham - Sean Sherk was coming off of a sixteen-month layoff. The fight was Dunham's first loss. The result was a controversial decision, even though it was a pretty clear 29-28 for Sherk.
- Melvin Guillard vs. Evan Dunham - Melvin Guillard was a relatively late replacement for Kenny Florian. The fight was Dunham's second loss and his second straight loss.
- Evan Dunham vs. Nik Lentz - Nik Lentz was a late replacement for an injured Paul Sass.
- Evan Dunham vs. Rodrigo Damm
- Evan Dunham vs. Ross Pearson
- Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon