Wednesday, February 15, 2012

UFC on Fuel TV 1: Ellenberger wins, now what?


With a rare weekend past and present without any Mixed Martial Arts action, the UFC sandwiched a free TV event in between. Unlike, and unfortunately for the UFC, the live card they had on the Fox network a few backs, this card on Fuel TV was a lot more entertaining. Just goes to show the unpredictability of this sport and why I called that Fox card 'Murphy's Law'.

Nonetheless, this one delivered on many levels and the main deliveryman came in the form of the current number one welterweight contender in the UFC, Jake 'The Juggernaut' Ellenberger. Who, the casual fan may ask? Well, Ellenberger (27-5, 17 KO's, 5 subs) is currently riding a six fight win streak and along the way has defeated some household names you may recognize such as Mike Pyle, Jake Shields and now Diego Sanchez.

This native of Omaha, Nebraska got to return home on Wednesday night and put on a fight of the night performance before a raucous hometown crowd and national TV audience against a very dangerous and formidable opponent. How dangerous is Sanchez? Ellenberger won the fight, but it was clearly on the strength of two strong rounds because in the third, he was in serious trouble. Sanchez, after Ellenberger had taken him down, reversed the position, got a hold of Ellenberger's back and definitely slowed the momentum 'The Juggernaut' displayed in the first two rounds.

An impressive win for Ellenberger to be sure and now he is the undisputed number one contender in the welterweight division. The question is, now what? Number one contender status usually means you're next in line for a title shot. However, for some reason, that commitment is not being made a/o yet by Dana White, UFC President. According to him, maybe current interim champion Carlos Condit would be better suited to wait for a crack at welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. "If you're Carlos Condit, (and) you just fought Ellenberger not too long ago, I'd wait for GSP," White is quoted as saying.

What? Excuse me, but wasn't the purpose of making the recent Carlos Condit/Nick Diaz fight for an interim title, solely for one reason; so that a title can be defended and not lie dormant while the champion recovers from a serious knee injury? If that is truly the case, then why this sudden back pedaling? Not to mention that a fight between Ellenberger and Condit is a no-brainer considering there is a built in storyline.

You see Ellenberger's last loss before the six-fight win streak was a controversial split decision loss to none other than Carlos Condit. This was back in September 2009, two and a half years ago, so I'm not sure what White means when he says they fought not too long ago. It isn't like this is an immediate rematch or something. On top of that, I would think White would want Condit, his interim champion, to fight as soon as possible, seeing the backlash he's received for the strategy he used in the Diaz fight.

I'm not a promoter and Dana White has already proven he's the best in this business. However, forget GSP, as there is no certainty regarding his timetable or return; you can also forget about Nick Diaz as he's looking at a year off, at least, due to his drug suspension. I think if you take all the above and add in that Ellenberger has proven to be a very exciting fighter, four KO finishes in those last six wins, plus a fight of the night performance, it's pretty simple. "Ellenberger wins, now what," means that he should fight Carlos Condit for the interim title; maybe I should be a promoter after all.

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