Sunday, 19 February 2012

Ellenberger vs Sanchez on Fuel TV

Jake Ellenberger proved that he is the real deal when he managed to defeat Diego Sanchez in their Welterweight bout on UFC on Fuel TV earlier this week. The Omaha native won a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in their main event clash.

Ellenberger started the fight with some precision striking and managed to catch Sanchez coming in with a few clean punches, one of which sent the aggressive south paw to the canvas. In typical style, Sanchez pushed through and just kept on coming. His relentless attack tested Ellenberger in all facets of his game and forced the Juggernaut to fall back on his infamous double leg take down on multiple occasions, which he used to great effect. The result of this tactical brilliance, presence of mind and skillful execution earned Ellenberger the first two rounds in convincing style.

After more of the same in the third round, things changed when Ellenberger slipped and gave up his back to a tired look Sanchez. The favourable position breathed new life into the Dream, who capitalised on the opportunity and landed some big shots while looking for a submission. At times it looked as if Sanchez's severe ground and pound may have been enough to finish the fight, or possibly warrant a 10-8 round. Ellenberger however showed the final element required of a complete fighter, the ability to deal with adversity, and after taking a beating for a couple of minutes, he managed to escape and return to standing. In doing so he crushed all Sanchez's hopes. The fight ended with both fighters trading heavy blows.

Whats next for Jake Ellenberger
Ellenberger did his campaign for the UFC Welterweight title no harm with his performance at UFC on Fuel TV and rumours have already begun circling of a possible title rematch with Carlos Condit. Now on a 6 fight winning streak and having bested big names in the form of Jake Shields and now Diego Sanchez, Ellenberger would be justified in his claim for a shot at UFC gold, especially with GSP still injured.

Results aside, Ellenberger impressed me immensely in this fight, and I do believe he will be a great opponent for Condit or GSP going forward. He has the skills, power and conditioning to be a real threat to the title holders.


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