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: May 17, 2012 - 1:15 am
The Alaska Fighting Championship closed out the season with a huge, 12 fight card tonight, capping it with two title fights. Controversy was not absent, and quick, brutal match-ups ruled the night. Results and recaps follow.
Don't forget to check back in this weekend for awards, analysis, photos, and the Final Word!
HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
Brian Ryan def. Rod Pucak
Round 1, KO (knee)
Posted: May 15, 2012 - 4:27 pm
Cordova's Cody McKenzie emerged victorious today on the undercard of UFC on Fuel 3, sinking his trademark "McKenzie-tine" choke on opponent Marcus LeVesseur, earning the submission inside of the first round.
McKenzie, whose fight nickname is 'The AK Kid', gave a shout-out to the 49th state during his post-fight interview. While thanking his training partners, gyms, and family, he exclaimed, "Alaska! Love you guys."
Posted: May 15, 2012 - 1:36 am
AFC 92: Best of the Best 8 is set for Wednesday, May 16th, and it looks to be a doozy. In addition to serving as the AFC's annual anniversary extravaganza, it will also close out the 2011-2012 season and represent the promotion's centennial event (including a few tournaments, and a handful of unnumbered cards in the Mat-Su and the Egan Center).
Posted: May 7, 2012 - 11:37 pm
Cody 'AK Kid' McKenzie, one of the only Alaskans currently fighting in the UFC, will take on Octagon newcomer Marcus Levesseur on Tuesday, May 15th. The main card will be broadcast on the Fox cable station FUEL (channel 307 on GCI).
Posted: May 4, 2012 - 1:37 am
Mike 'The Cannon' Fannon, the #1 heavyweight contender int he AFC, was forced to withdraw from his anticipated showdown with champion Brian Ryan at AFC 92: Best of the Best 8. Fannon reportedly injured his shoulder in training.
Posted: April 22, 2012 - 1:52 am
The AFC brought it's Valley schedule to a close tonight, April 21st, promising to return in the fall. The unheralded card surprised with highly competitive bouts and a few new faces who moved to make themselves known on the Alaska fight scene.
Worth noting, the night featured several very evenly contested fights, the result of some very good matchmaking on the part of the AFC. Special props also go to referee Pino for an night of excellent calls and decisions while in the cage.
Posted: April 19, 2012 - 9:22 pm
You all must be sick of my ramblings by now. Am I too harsh? Not harsh enough? Think you can do better job at making snarky observations and making up different ways to say, "Fighter A punched Fighter B in the face"? Well, now is your chance!
For the first time, you get to be the MMA reporter! If you attend AFC: Mat-Su Showdown 7 at 7:30pm this Saturday, feel free to send me your observations, musings and comments on the fights and fighters. The best messages I receive will be posted on this very blog a few days later, right here at the Anchorage Daily News website.
Posted: April 19, 2012 - 9:03 pm
The Alaska Fighting Championship is set for their seventh event in the Mat-Su this Saturday, April 21.
The card is awash with fresh faces looking to be the next big thing in Alaskan MMA. Any fan waiting for someone new in the local scene should be pleased. The event will be immediately preceded by the second annual Alaska State Arm-Wrestling Championship.
Posted: April 12, 2012 - 3:54 pm
[SPECIAL THANKS TO ONE-TIME FEATHERWEIGHT CONTENDER AND FULL-TIME MUSTACHE ENTHUSIAST JORDAN THICKSTUN, FOR ONCE AGAIN COVERING THE FIGHTS IN MY ABSENCE. THE FOLLOWING RESULTS AND RECAPS ARE COURTESY OF MR. THICKSTUN]
EIGHT-MAN, SINGLE-NIGHT TOURNAMENT
Chris "Cuffcake" Cuff def Thomas "T-Gunz" McMichael
Rd. 2, Decision (unanimous)
Posted: April 10, 2012 - 10:58 pm
Fairbanks' premier promotion held another event last Saturday, April 7th. There were several familiar fighters in the cage, and plenty of gold on the line with multiple title fights. Congratulations to the winners!
Schon "Wolverine" Ellis Def. Thomas "The Potbelly Assassin" Ide
Round 1, Submission (Strikes)
Josh Clark Def. Kyle "Furious" George
Round 3, Submission (rear naked choke)
WEIGHT CLASS UNSPECIFIED
Posted: April 6, 2012 - 8:52 am
Alaska Cage Fighting, the most prolific promotion centered in Fairbanks, has overcome some snags with their event and is good to go with a massive 15 fight card. There will be both MMA and kickboxing fights.
Posted: March 27, 2012 - 6:36 pm
The AFC will hold a second eight-man, single-night tournament on April 11th. A broad 170-205 limit bigger fighters will get their chance to shine. Even better, the field boasts an all-star lineup of the Alaska's most accomplished mixed martial artists, including two current champions and a UFC veteran. Let's take a look at the vital stats for some of the competitors:
Julio 'The Dominican Demon' Paulino
Height: 6' 0"
Base: Kung Fu/Boxing
Posted: March 20, 2012 - 10:48 pm
[CORRECTION: INITIALLY I SAID MR. YUNDT WAS CONCERNED ABOUT GUARANTEED PAYMENT. THIS PHRASING WAS CONFUSING AND COULD BE INTERPRETED AS IF THE WINNER OF THE TOURNAMENT MIGHT NOT GET PAID. THIS HAS BEEN CORRECTED TO ACCURATELY REFLECT MR. YUNDT'S STATEMENTS.]
Posted: March 14, 2012 - 4:20 pm
This won't be an ordinary post-event analysis. Rather than give out awards and play amateur matchmaker, I just want to tell you a story. It's got it's twists and turns, falls and redemptions, high stakes and sympathetic characters, and a gripping plot leading to a nail-biting climax. It's the story of the Great North Grand Prix, which transpired last Wednesday, March 7th.
Posted: March 8, 2012 - 2:43 am
In a night of non-stop surprises, when Murphy's Law dug deep into its bag of tricks, the AFC managed to succeed in one of the most difficult tasks a promotion can attempt: a single night tournament full of top notch talent. And not only did they succeed, but they were wildly successful. A full write up of the event will come along this weekend, with pictures and quotes. For right now enjoy the fighter results and recaps.
Posted: March 5, 2012 - 8:13 pm
The Alaska Fighting Championship is set to present a huge event this week. One fighter will walk out with a cool five grand, another will walk out with an belt, and everyone will walk out with bruises.
Not content to let the NCAA have all the fun, the AFC institutes it's own version of March Madness this Wednesday with the Great North Grand Prix, a single-night, eight-man, winner-take-all throwdown. In addition, headlining the event is a featherweight tilt for the interim-championship belt.
Posted: February 19, 2012 - 1:43 pm
The ACF put on what sounds like a rousing show in Fairbanks on Friday, February 17, at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. There were a plethora of different kinds of submissions, Tommy 'The Pot-Bellied Assassin' Ide and Jason 'Showtime' Coomes bounced back from their AFC losses two days previous, and Pat Lumba defended his heavyweight strap from Tommy 'T-Gunz' McMichael. Full results follow, courtesy of promoter Wayne Swanson.
ACF Results 2/17/12
Goldstar Arena, Fairbanks, AK
Posted: February 19, 2012 - 2:46 am
Expectations doth make fools of us all. Or at least all Hebrew MMA journalists over 6'5".
Without a lot of elite fighters on the card, I had very low hopes for AFC 89. Of course, what makes the sport of MMA so great is that anything can, and often does, happen. Just when I'm sure a card will be a snoozer, it delivers a solid night of bloody satisfaction.
Posted: February 16, 2012 - 12:19 am
AFC 89: Date Night turned in a packed night of 11 fights. While the night featured very little in the way of elite talent, it instead showcased a plethora of mid-level fighters fighting to move up to the next level of competition. No fan can say they didn't get their money's worth, as the long event provided four solid hours of fisticuffs. Fight results and recaps follow below. Make sure to check back in this weekend for photo's, awards, quotes, and the Final Word.
Posted: February 14, 2012 - 12:07 am
The Alaska MMA landscape is crowded this week, with three events scheduled in the space of four days.
Wednesday, February 15, the Alaska Fighting Championship returns to the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Headlining the show is a middleweight title eliminator between Tyler 'Working Man' Milner and Thomas 'The Pot-Bellied Assassin' Ide.
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