FAIRFAX, Va. - There's no way that didn't hurt. And given how Efrain Escudero has been lying on the ground clutching his left shoulder for the past few minutes, we're guessing he's in extreme pain.
Just over a minute into the third round of a back-and-forth lightweight bout, Evan Dunham locked in an armbar and bent Escudero's arm and shoulder in directions originally unintended by those who invented the human body.
Dunham (10-0) survived some early pounding by Escudero (13-1), the Season 8 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter." Escudero landed a flying knee to the chin of Dunham midway through the first round, then followed it up with some impressive stand-up. He chased Dunham around the Octagon until he connected with a swinging right that knocked Dunham to the ground. Later in the first round, Dunham connected with a good shot, but Escudero won the round.
"I guess I was pretty hurt," Dunham said. "But it was just one of those things where you get cracked and you keep fighting through it."
Dunham was more aggressive in the second round, landing a series of blows to the grounded Escudero with about 1:20 left. With around 40 seconds to go, Dunham got back control and nearly submitted Escudero via rear naked choke.
To open the third round, Escudero caught Dunham with a guillotine choke in mid-air but he managed to escape after being taken down to the ground. Dunham got a takedown shortly thereafter and continued to work his ground game for the submission victory, his sixth such win.