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Posted on February 14, 2012 by John Petit
Jake Ellenberger (26-5) vs. Diego Sanchez (23-4)
Jake Ellenberger knows a lot about being an underdog now, and he proved in his win over Jake Shields that you should never count him out. The odds are in Ellenberger’s favor this time, and the visions of Ellenberger being the first guy to finish Shields since 2000 are still etched in the minds of many MMA fans. Diego Sanchez can be a dangerous man, and at times the best way to describe him would be that it seems like his opponents are fighting buzz- saws.
One thing that needs to be said about Sanchez is not only his cardio and the pace he is able to keep up, but the way he recovers from being hurt is almost hard to believe. In his heroic fight for BJ Penn’s belt, in which he came up short, he showed an ability to not only take huge shots but remain dangerous as well. Sanchez came back to welterweight wit a loss to John Hathaway, but since he has put decision wins up over Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann. I am not sure if Sanchez’s cardio can out run Ellenberger, but he certainly has the cardio to push it as hard as anyone else has in the octagon.
Ellenberger will be the home town hero, he is from Omaha, Nebraska, and he will have the crowd in his corner. The other thing fight fans should take note of is the consistent power that Ellenberger throws his punches. You don’t see many pawing jabs, and when he throws a hook like the one that knocked out Ross Pearson, he puts everything in it all the time. Ellenberger has only lost once since June of 2008, and that was in his first fight in the UFC where he fought the now Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit.
Sanchez is going to want to close the distance, and put Ellenberger on his back and score from the top. While Sanchez has an excellent wrestling and submission wrestling credentials, he had a hard time getting Martin Kampmann to the ground, and Ellenberger will be much more difficult to get down. While he closes the distance he is going to have to keep an eye on that left hand of Ellenberger’s. People who have been training with him for a long time have been warning others of his power, and that was on display when he knocked out Shields.
I think Ellenberger takes this one by decision. I see him landing something solid on the chin of Diego, but not being able to put him away. I think Sanchez will hang in there, and stay dangerous the whole fight, but I don’t think it will be enough to out point Ellenberger. Ellenberger has to be careful, but I think he gets the judges nod winning the first two rounds.
Main card Welterweight bout:
Diego Sanchez Jake Ellenberger
Average Fight Time