During his final tour in Iraq, Matt met Rich Frankin, Randy Couture, and Rachel Leah in Tikrit during a USO show. He was already an avid MMA fan (he and the boys had already started the Tikrit fight club) but after meeting Rich, in particular, Matt knew he wanted to commit to fighting full time, as he had planned on leaving the military at the end of his tour.
With his wife’s support, Matt showed up at Jorge Gurgel’s MMA academy in Cincinnati so he could train with the man who inspired him – Rich Franklin.
Initially nervous about approaching Franklin, for fear of coming off like a stalker, Matt quickly found out that his worst fears were about to come true as Franklin pinned him to the ground while screaming STALKER!!! and delivered vicious wet willys and pink bellies to the surprised Dunlap…actually Rich, who is staunchly pro-military, was really cool about it and went out of his way to help.
Matt now trains fulltime with some phenomenal fighters who were good enough to send their pictures in Ranger Up Gear, including UFC fighters Rich Franklin, Jorge Gurgel, Luke Zachrich, Dustin Hazelett, Matt Brown, and Dorian Price.
Dunlap won his beard contest and the $300 that victory brought him…