Photo by Josh Hedges for Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.
For the first two rounds of last nights UFC on Fuel TV headliner, Jake Ellenberger looked like the same fighter who had Carlos Condit on the run in the early going of their 2009 bout. Sadly, he had the same issues in the final round of his bout with Diego Sanchez that cost him a decision loss to Condit.
Let's face it, in the early going Jake Ellenberger is a true force of nature. He abolished Jake Shields in 53 seconds. He only needed 5:22 to dispose of Mike Pyle. He damaged John Howard's eye enough in the first frame that by the third the fight had to be stopped.
But we also have to face the reality that few welterweights fade like Ellenberger. He gave the second half of the Condit bout away and very nearly gave the whole fight to Sanchez last night in the third round.
Looking at Fight Metric we can see the way the Ellenberger tide roared into the Octagon with big wins in the first and second rounds and the tide slipped out with a big deficit in the third round as Sanchez got top control and rained down punches and looked for the choke.
If Ellenberger is going to be challenging Carlos Condit for the UFC interim welterweight title anytime soon, he's going to need to focus on finishing Condit early OR rejiggering his whole game to avoid fading in the late rounds, because a five round fight is a whole 'nother ballgame.
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