Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
The main event of the inaugural UFC on Fuel card will be a grinding welterweight battle. On one side of the cage you have a former top contender who went through some hard times (and an ill-fated drop to lightweight), but looks to be back at the top of his game. On the other side, you have a rising star that is coming off the biggest win of his career and needs a positive result here to possibly earn a rematch with the interim champion of his division.Jake Ellenberger (26-5, 5-1 UFC).(23-4, 12-4 UFC) faces
Ellenberger is currently ranked at number 3 at welterweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Sanchez is back in the 12 position. Ellenberger could be in line for a potential title shot and rematch with Carlos Condit with a win, while Sanchez would work his way back into the top 10 and cement himself as a top contender once again. This welterweight fight will be the main event of the night, and will be aired live on, what else, Fuel TV. The TV broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Sanchez: 30 years old | 5'10" | 72" reach
Ellenberger: 26 years old | 5'9" | 73" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Diego "The Dream" Sanchez was the middleweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 1, and this will be his 17th bout in the organization. He engaged in some of the most memorable UFC fights of 2006 and 2007, but couldn't get over the hump and earn a title shot. A drop to lightweight finally earned him that elusive chance at a belt in late 2009, but he was crushed by champion B.J. Penn and returned back to 170. Some bad lifestyle and investment choices had him down and out for a while, but he has rebounded of late with two straight wins (though the one over Martin Kampmann was iffy at best) and will look to try and claw his way back to the top tier at 170 with a win over Ellenberger tonight.
Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger is a native of Omaha (where UFC on Fuel is taking place) and started out in the midwest regional circuit. He also competed in the IFL, Bodog, and Bellator before finally signing with the UFC in mid-2009. Ellenberger's first UFC bout was against current UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. Jake dropped Condit three times in the first round, but Condit managed to come back and squeak out an extremely close split-decision win. Since then though, Ellenberger has picked up five straight wins, four by KO/TKO, most recently taking out former Strikeforce middleweight champion and top-five welterweight Jake Shields by TKO in just 53 seconds. A win here is vital to maintain Jake's momentum towards a title shot.
Why should you care?
This is a top-level welterweight bout that will help sort out the confusing 170 pound division as it stands at the moment. Both of these guys like to scrap and are good everywhere, so it should be a very entertaining fight.
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