UFC on Fuel TV 1 Recap: Jake Ellenberger delivers in front of hometown crowdPosted on February 15, 2012, 11:54 PM by Trent Reinsmith
After being promised a “dog fight” in the UFC 143 main event, UFC fans could not be blamed if they were somewhat skeptical when Diego Sanchez proclaimed that his UFC of Fuel TV main event bout against Jake Ellenberger was going to be the same.
After 15 minutes, I’m not sure if you could construe what occurred between Sanchez and Ellenberger as a dog fight, but even if you don’t there’s no denying that it was one of the more entertaining fights that fans witnessed in some time.
In the end, Ellenberger controlled the first two rounds, dealing with a late ground and pound onslaught from Sanchez to secure the unanimous decision victory.
Questions after seeing Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger:
-Where does the win put Ellenberger? The Welterweight division is in a state of disarray right now. UFC Champion Georges St. Pierre is on the shelf recovering from knee surgery. Interim UFC Champion Carlos Condit looks like he will wait for St. Pierre to return before fighting again. Top ranked contender Nick Diaz is facing a suspension following a positive drug test and two other highly ranked competitors, Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks aren’t scheduled to compete against each other until May 5.
The Ellenberger versus Condit bout would be compelling as would an Ellenberger versus Diaz match up, but they don’t look like they will come together at this point. The wait for the winner of the Koscheck versus Hendricks fight may be too far off for Ellenberger’s liking.
In the end it may be in the UFC’s best interest to sweeten the pot and exert a little pressure on Condit to take the fight against Ellenberger, after all, it’s a fight that many fans want to see.
-What’s next for Diego Sanchez? Sanchez may be relegated to gatekeeper status at this point in his UFC career, but that’s not a bad place for him or for the UFC. You can throw Sanchez onto any main card and know full well that he is going to deliver an entertaining fight and that he will not quit no matter how badly the odds seem to be stacked against him. Sanchez is the type of fighter the UFC covets and no matter what his nickname is as long as his style remains the same he should have a job with the promotion.
Notes and more questions following UFC on Fuel TV:
-Following the action packed main event many fans were left wanting more, wishing the main event would have been a five rounds rather than three. Well, reports from the post-fight press conference indicate that UFC President Dana White has announced that five round main events will be coming to all UFC cards.
-The jury is still out on Stipe Miocic. I understand the tendency is to rush to get behind a fighter that shows some promise and Miocic does show that, but he also shows some weaknesses that top level competition can exploit, don’t forget, not too long ago Brendan Schaub was being promoted as a future UFC Heavyweight Champion.
-T.J. Dillashaw, while impressive in his victory over Walel Watson showed no real killer instinct. If a fighter has the ability to control and outstrike his opponent like Dillashaw did he also needs to finish him. Dillashaw looked good, but without a killer instinct and the ability or desire to put his UFC opponents away, he will have a career of preliminary card or free TV fights.
LowKick.com UFC on Fuel TV 1 main card awards:
-Fight of the night: Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger. Ellenberger set the tone early, coming out and landing two quick punches and from there he effectively controlled the pace and where the fight would take place. With that being said, Sanchez, while frustrated by Ellenberger never quit and made a valiant effort to turn the tide near the end of the third round. It was a great fight to headline the card.
-Performance of the night: Jake Ellenberger. He went into this fight with people thinking he was the future of the Welterweight division and his performance did little to change that thinking. Even when things went bad for him he never quit, he kept working to gain a better position even as Diego Sanchez rained strikes down on him in the closing seconds of the fight.
-Finish of the night: Ivan Menjivar. Menjivar looked stunned when John Albert delivered a headkick to Menjivar and then took the fight to the ground. Through it all Menjivar kept his cool, and as he said in his post-fight interview, thought, “What would Sakuraba do?” With that, Menjivar took Albert’s back and forced him to tap to a rear naked choke.
Photo: Tracy Lee for Yahoo Sports