MMA Previews

Ellenberger Seeks Second Win Inside Octagon

Jake Ellenberger’s debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship was quite the eye-opener. The powerful striker came out fast, battering his opponent for the majority of the first round. Several moments in the opening frame seemed to be the final ones of the fight, but, unfortunately for Ellenberger, the man on the receiving end of the beat down has earned quite the reputation as a brawler who can take a punch.

Ellenberger’s opponent was the hard-nosed former welterweight champion of the WEC Carlos Condit. Condit endured a beating that would probably have finished the vast majority of welterweights to come back and take a split decision victory, robbing Ellenberger of a greatly desired debut victory.

The loss fueled Ellenberger, who returned to the Octagon less than four months following the loss. At the injury-plagued UFC 108, Ellenberger stared across the cage at Mike Pyle, and, after working diligently throughout the first round, Ellenberger earned a technical knockout stoppage in the opening moments of the second to secure his first victory with the UFC.

Ellenberger looked to build upon his dominant win and ever-growing reputation as a threat in the welterweight division when he was matched up against Ben Saunders at UFC 111 in Newark, New Jersey. However, just days before the fight, news of Thiago Alves withdrawal from his rematch with Jon Fitch on the evening’s main card reached Saunders, who requested to be placed up against the American Kickboxing Academy star, instead of against Ellenberger.

The UFC granted Saunders’ request, and Ellenberger was pushed off the card, though the promotion still paid him as if he would have defeated Saunders.

However, a win bonus is not so sweet without the victory on your resume, and Ellenberger will be ready to earn a true win bonus inside the cage at “UFC on Versus 2” this Sunday in San Diego, California.

Ellenberger is set up against a man carrying one of the more intimidating nicknames in John “Doomsday” Howard, who has earned four consecutive wins inside the UFC with his two most recent coming by way of knockout. This weekend, Howard’s goal will be no different. But he is not the only one with the ability to throw down and with the facts to back up that ability.

Throughout his career, Ellenberger, an assistant wrestling coach at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has used his wrestling pedigree to dictate fights, along with making his opponents stand and bang with him. At 22-5, Ellenberger has finished 14 of his professional bouts by way of knockout, with his most recent victory being one of those.

However, it is not his list of knockout victories that is most impressive, perhaps. The fact that Ellenberger has yet to be knocked out in 27 professional fights shows just how difficult it is to put this guy away.

Yet regardless of the number of knockouts either Ellenberger or Howard hold, one thing seems almost certain come Sunday night; this match up is a recipe for a brawl. Both fighters enter the cage looking to inflict damage onto their opponents, and neither fighter is going out before leaving everything they have in the cage.

And that is what has earned Ellenberger, specifically, the reputation of a fast-paced fighter and a growing fanbase in the sport. In just two fights with the UFC, the Nebraska native has kept the fans smiling with his electrifying style and desire to fight his heart out.

However, for Ellenberger, like all fighters, climbing up the ranks of the welterweight division is of the utmost importance and he has another opportunity to do that at “UFC on Versus 2”.

He may carry the reputation of an exhilarating fighter at this point in his career, but, with a win Sunday night, perhaps Ellenberger will also earn the reputation of one of the more dominant prospects in a division taking applications for viable contenders.

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