On Saturday night, UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger was stopped in the third round of his fight by No. 1 ranked contender Robbie Lawler. The loss did little to change UFC president Dana White's opinion of Ellenberger.
Prior to the loss to Lawler (23-10-0-1), Ellenberger (29-8) dropped a unanimous decision to Rory MacDonald (16-2) at UFC on Fox 8. After that fight, White took to Fuel TV to lambast both MacDonald and Ellenberger - but mostly Ellenberger. "I thought Jake Ellenberger did nothing - literally nothing at all," said White of the July 2013 fight. "He did not try to win, did not try to impose his will - he literally did nothing. His punch stats were close to zero. Rory just stood on the outside and did enough to win."
The Fightmetric stats on that fight showed that Ellenberger landed five strikes in the first round and five more in the second stanza. Ellenberger did up his output in the third round of that bout, landing 17 strikes, but the effort left him taking only one round on a single judge's scorecard, the other two judges gave MacDonald the clean sweep.
Those changes were not apparent to White.
"Listen, there's guys that pull the triggers when it's time to step up, and there's guys who don't pull the trigger. This is two times where he was in the spotlight and had big opportunities and he didn't pull the trigger," the UFC president said of Ellenberger during the post-fight media scrum.
What stuck out for White about Ellenberger's fight on Saturday was how he fought in the third and final round. Heading into that round, Lawler had outstruck Ellenberger 49 to 24, but instead of ramping up his attack Ellenberger landed only six strikes in the third stanza before the stoppage. "When you're in a big fight like that, and you're down two rounds, you come out in that third round and you try and win," said White. "He didn't do that. He didn't do it in the MacDonald fight either."
White's final assessment of Ellenberger, the man that entered UFC 173 as the No. 5 ranked-pounder was blunt, "He's got a lot of work to do."