UFC on Fuel TV 1: Ellenberger vs. Sanchez Review – A Great Main Card. And Aaron Simpson
A recap of last nights UFC debut on Fuel TV, which featured a main event that was two rounds too short, a bunch of good fights, and Aaron Simpson.
Jake Ellenberger def. Diego Sanchez: Like most fights involving Diego, this was an exciting fight thanks to Diego’s ability to move forward and absorb punches with his face. Ellenberger looked outstanding in the first two rounds, countering when Diego pressed forward and using a stiff jab. He landed a number of clean punches that would have knocked out a guy that didn’t have God on his side as much as Sanchez does. At the end of the second, he also showed great instincts when he changed levels and scored a takedown as Diego moved into him. Things changed in the third though when Diego scrambled on a takedown, got the back, and pounded away on Ellenberger for the final minute and a half, nearly finishing the fight in the process. It was a great fight where both men showed a lot but it would have been better had it been five rounds, like every main event was supposed to be before Dana changed his mind. Give him another couple of days, he’ll change his mind again. Now everyone is talking about Ellenberger vs. Carlos Condit 2 for the interim title since Condit will probably have to fight again before Georges St. Pierre returns. I’m fine with that fight since their first bout was great, but I think Condit will have a much easier time with Ellenberger in the rematch. Both guys have improved, but Condit is a smarter fighter and Ellenberger’s cardio is questionable in a three round bout, much less a five rounder. As for Sanchez, he’ll continue to have entertaining fights and beat a lot of guys who can’t keep pace with him, but he’s always going to struggle against the top guys in the division. As long as he makes it a dog fight though, he doesn’t seem to care much about actually winning.
Stefan Struve def. Dave Herman: Someone needs to tell Struve that fights are only two rounds and maybe he won’t suck so bad in round one from here on out. Herman did a nice job in the first five minutes using kicks and getting in Struve’s face with punches but in the second, Struve realized that he has a reach advantage against everyone he faces, so he decided to use it and find his rhythm. Struve ended up dropping Herman with an uppercut and then pounding him out on the ground. As a fan of Struve, I was excited to see him win and I’m sure Dana felt the same way, because now Herman will probably have to shave or be cut. If Struve can get start giving a damn during the first five minutes and use his reach, he could turn into a contender in the division. And if Herman can find a razor and a real camp, he could make it past the first five minutes.
Ronny Markes def. Aaron Simpson: Besides an uppercut by Simpson and some left hook by Markes in the first round, this fight was pretty much as I expected, although not courtesy of the guy I expected it from. Simpson got Simpson’d by Markes, who decided to hold him against the cage and occasionally land a takedown that he did nothing with. Markes seems to have plenty of talent, but his lack of cardio is probably going to hinder him in the division. That said, middleweight is pretty thin, so he’ll have more of an opportunity to succeed.
Stipe Miocic def. Phil De Fries: De Fries punched Miocic and rocked him, then Miocic punched De Fries harder and finished him. That was pretty much the entire fight. Fries is your below average heavyweight with no cardio and Miocic actually seems like he has some talent. Too bad they’re heavyweights.
TJ Dillashaw def. Walel Watson: Dillashaw showed why he was the favorite to win last season of TUF with his performance against Watson, which was a one-sided beat down. Dillashaw got the fight to the ground whenever he wanted with his superior wrestling, achieved a dominate position at will with his superior grappling, and then beat up Watson until the round ended. He probably could have finished the fight with strikes but he had a bet with Urijah Faber that he could finish with the rear naked choke. Dillashaw will be a mainstay in the division for years to come because he has a ton of talent and is one of the most competitive guys in the sport.
Ivan Menjivar def. John Albert: These two put on one of the best rounds of the year and it’s a shame no one in the crowd seemed to care. Albert was out0striking Menjivar early, ended up rocking him and hitting him with an illegal knee that the referee didn’t bother to point out, and nearly finished him. Only then he realized that he’s some mediocre TUF fighter and Menjivar is a veteran who has been in bad positions before, so Albert decided to screw up, give up his back, and get choked out. It would have been nice if the live crowd recognized just how great this nearly four minutes of action was, but instead they had more important things to do, like check their smart phones to see what Jeremy Lin was up to.