Lifelong Alaskan Sam "The Hebrew Hope" Dunham got his start in martial arts at the age of 5, taking karate lessons.
He rediscovered martial arts in college, enrolling in UAA's tae kwon do class, in which he now holds a black belt.
Eventually he sought to better round out his skill set and has been training MMA at Greatland Martial Arts since.
He has won matches at the Alaska Fighting Championship and also at Thursday Night at the Fights. He teaches kids at Tae Kwon Do USA, and makes his living as a substitute teacher for the Anchorage School District.
He can probably beat you up, but luckily he doesn't want to.
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Posted: October 5, 2012 - 10:31 pm
Juneau-based promotion AK Beat Down hosted another mixed-card event on September 28, this time featuring six MMA bouts.
The highlight of the evening was unquestionably Wayne 'Kung Fu' Smallwood, a 62-year-old scrapper who staged a remarkable comeback to defeat his far younger opponent (who also outweighed him by 22 pounds) with an unbelievable spinning-backfist.
Posted: October 2, 2012 - 12:26 pm
Tuesday Night Fights, the Mat-Su Valley's regular fight promotion, kicks off it's 2012-2013 season tonight at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla. Now on it's second season, the young promotion plans to host amateur and semi-pro events nearly every week from now until the spring.
TNF mixes standard MMA with boxing and Muay Thai matches. Tonight's main event pits veterans Tommy 'T-Gunz' McMichael and Luke Wild. Fights are scheduled to start at 7:30pm.
Posted: September 15, 2012 - 12:09 am
"It is what it is, nothing I can do to change that."
These words, muttered matter-of-factly by AFC promoter Sarah Lorimer, probably sums up the general attitude following AFC 93; an event that could be described as disappointing at best, disastrous at worst. A night that should have been marked by the exciting debuts of some very talented prospects was instead marred by disqualifications in the two featured fights and an almost-riot from incensed spectators.
Posted: September 14, 2012 - 8:41 pm
AFC welterweight champion 'Naptime' Nic Herron-Webb is officially in the house!
Posted: September 13, 2012 - 2:12 am
The AFC started their new season in unfortunate fashion tonight, Sept 14, with both the main and co-main events ending due to disqualification. In addition to the frustrating fashion in which the marquee fights ended, the unhappy crowd supplied a memorably shameful moment. Tragically, these events overshadowed the debut of some really exciting and talented fighters on the undercard. A full breakdown of the events of the AFC 93 will be along in a few days. For now, enjoy the following results and recaps.
Posted: September 11, 2012 - 6:00 pm
Fight season returns with Alaska's premier MMA promotion this Wednesday. After the long summer of boring hiking, fishing, travelling, and other horribly wholesome outdoor activities, Anchorage fight fans can finally sit back and watch some honest-to-Dana White violence.
Posted: September 7, 2012 - 11:35 pm
Following up his runner-up showing in the Great North Grand Prix, Scott McAfee has announced the formation of his new promotion, Solid as a Rock FC. The new organization will be based out of McAfee's hometown of Fairbanks, with the intention to produce, "A large scale, quality event."
McAfee, a veteran of World Extreme Cagefighting and Bellator Fight Championship, is one of the most accomplished fighters produced in the Last Frontier.
Posted: August 30, 2012 - 5:26 pm
The UFC has announced the line-up for the latest season of it's long running reality television program, The Ultimate Fighter. Among the 32 welterweight hopefuls is Alaska's own 'Naptime' Nic Herron-Webb. At only 22 years old he will be the youngest competitor on the show.
Posted: August 24, 2012 - 6:38 pm
Up-and-coming Juneau promotion AK Beat Down hosted their eighth mixed-rules event August 17th, featuring MMA, boxing, and hybrid bouts. Enjoy the MMA results below, courtesy of promoter Russ Stevens.
Tyson Duckworth def. Craig Reishus
Round 3, Decision (split)
Christian Rotola def. Tyrel Kleinsmith
Round 1, Submission (rear-naked choke)
Chandler Horne def. Michael Ward
Round 2, TKO (strikes)
Posted: August 1, 2012 - 12:48 am
Clear your calendar, fight fanatics! The Alaska Fighting Championship announced the dates for their new season via Facebook today.
In addition to the eight Anchorage events (down one from last year's slate, and down four cards from two years ago) there will be an unknown number of Mat-Su Showdown events in Wasilla. An announcement on those events is expected soon.
Posted: July 17, 2012 - 12:57 am
Busy, busy, busy! Those are the three words to describe the the lay of the pugilistic landscape in Alaska. Grand Prix's and title fights and competing promotions holding events all over the dang place.
Its a good time to be a fight fan in the Last Frontier. With the epic Midnight Sun Mayhem now in the rear view mirror, it's time to take a breath and assess how the top fighters stack up.
However, before diving into these thoroughly comprehensive and utterly authoritative divisional rankings, please take a moment to read my standard disclaimer:
Posted: July 12, 2012 - 8:00 pm
File this one in your fantasy match-ups, folks.
Upon hearing news of Jesse Cruz's drop to flyweight, former AFC interim featherweight champion Darin Pestrikoff expressed a desire for the diminutive Cruz to return to Alaska and wish to challenge him at bantamweight. Pestrikoff is the long-time wrestling coach of one-time Cruz challenger Zack Eastlick, who lost his title-shot via disqualification.
Such a match is unlikely at best. Pestrikoff last competed when he won the belt, in 2008, while Cruz has committed to living, training, and fighting in California.
Posted: July 12, 2012 - 7:51 pm
Jesse 'The Puerto Rican Game Cock' Cruz, the Alaska Fighting Championship's first bantamweight champion, will drop down to flyweight soon. Cruz, who has been training with Dan Henderson's Team Quest for quite some time now, will participate in a four-man tournament in Inglewood, California, in the event Pandemonium VII, on August 18th. The winner of the tourney will be crowned the promotions inaugural 125 lbs champ.
Posted: June 30, 2012 - 8:58 pm
[*On June 24th, 2012, Fairbanks hosted the MMA event Midnight Sun Mayhem. The following is a recounting of some of my experience from the evening and night of previous, June 23rd. Several names, gyms, and businesses have been omitted to protect the anonymity of those involved who did not give their permission to be mentioned in this story. In other words, people interviewed are named, people who were just around are not named.*]
Posted: June 29, 2012 - 2:12 pm
Midnight Sun Mayhem turned in it's second annual event last Sunday. The free, outdoor, hybrid-Pride rules card was steller, with seasoned veterans turning in unforgettable matches all night long. The alternate rules played a much larger roll than last year's event, with several fighters attempting and landing moves such as stomps, soccer kicks, and knees to the head of their grounded opponent. Much, much more is coming, but for right now, enjoy these fight recaps.
Posted: June 23, 2012 - 1:06 am
AK Beatdown 7 went down last Saturday, June 16th, at Centennial Hall in Juneau. The boxing/MMA mixed card featured eight mixed martial arts bouts with a variety of rookies and veterans. Results follow, courtesy of promoter Russ Stevens, as well as some sweet pictures from the fights.
[THE ROUND IN WHICH EACH FIGHT ENDED WAS NOT REPORTED]
Drake Clements def. Paul 'The Eskimo' Lee
Christian Rotola def, Michael Houck
Posted: June 14, 2012 - 11:35 pm
Last summer long-time Fairbanks MMA icon Jeff Nielson brought a dream to life. He resurrected, if only for a night, the spirit of defunct Japanese promotion and beloved relic Pride Fighting Championships. And on June 24th, he's going to do it again.
Posted: June 2, 2012 - 10:17 pm
AK Beat Down hosted it's sixth event on Saturday, May 26, at the Centennial Hall Convention Center in Juneau. Headlining the mixed MMA/boxing/dirty boxing* card were well-traveled Alaskan fighters Eddie Hoch and Henry 'Hi-Def' Dehling.
Below are the results from the evening's MMA bouts.
AK Beat Down's next event is scheduled for June 16, same town, same venue. Thanks to Russ Stevens for the results!
[*"Dirty boxing" is essentially MMA with much quicker stand-ups]
Posted: May 21, 2012 - 3:44 pm
The Alaska Fighting Championship closed out it's 2011-12 season and put it's 100th show in it's rear-view mirror Wednesday, May 16th. Two sterling title defenses capped a night marked by lightning quick bouts and controversial calls by the referee. On the whole it was a satisfying night of violence.
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