The fight receiving top-billing tonight in Omaha, Nebraska is a welterweight clash between Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez with the winner being at the front of the queue to challenge Carlos Condit while we wait for George St-Pierre to return.
Ellenberger proved that he’s worthy of playing with the big boys at 170-pounds with his one-punch knockout of former Strikeforce middleweight champ and UFC title challenger Jake Shields in less than a minute.
Sanchez has looked great since his return to Greg Jackson’s camp following his two-loss stint between 2009 & 2010 and returned to dominate Paulo Thiago and closely edge Martin Kampmann in a controversial decision.
Ellenberger looked phenomenal in the early stages of this fight – Sanchez is not a terrible striker by any stretch of the imagination but he was countering his offence, mixing his shots with knees and punches including a shot that reportedly broke the nose of Sanchez.
The second frame closed with Ellenberger putting the grappler on his back and raining down a barrage of deadly elbows to the face of Sanchez that did damage.
Although it was not officially mentioned on the telecast I believe Ellenberger has broken his hand due to him not clinching his fist at all and trying to use his knee strikes more often and looking for takedowns.
The fight finished with Sanchez looking to put away Ellenberger, earlier in the final stanza Ellenberger got cut by Sanchez and he closed the fight on his back raining down punches to Jake looking to put him away before Ellenberger escaped with a few seconds remaining on the clock.
When all was said and done Ellenberger got the nod on all three judges cards 29-28.