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UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano - Idiot's Guide Preview to Jake Ellenberger vs. Josh Koscheck

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David Castillo on the three things you need to know about two fighters you wouldn't expect to be winless in their last three emphasizing how thin the UFC 184 main card is.

Jake brushing his teeth with an imaginary fork
Jake brushing his teeth with an imaginary fork
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Two former wrestling prospects with above average punching power settle their below average scores.

The Match Up

Welterweight Jake Ellenberger 29-9 vs. Josh Koscheck 17-8

The Odds

Welterweight Jake Ellenberger -220 vs. Josh Koscheck +180

3 Things You Should Know

1. Jake Ellenberger is way better than his current winless streak would indicate, but a streak that reflects his ceiling all the same.

Kelvin Gastelum, Robbie Lawler, and Rory MacDonald. That's how Ellenberger ended up 0-3 in his last three fights. Can you really blame him? Well, yes. Jake broke onto the MMA scene as a wrestler with supernatural punching power; a trait made famous in his fight against Pele, in which he one shot KO'd Pele so hard, Pele started vomiting; hell of an entrance to the public consciousness. Since then, he's relied on his right hand and not much else, which is why he's one loss away from a pink slip. Even though both men have a combined record of 0-6 in their last six fights, they're main card quality fighters.

2. Josh Koscheck is way better than his current winless streak would indicate, but a streak that reflects his ceiling all the same.

Tyron Woodley, Robbie Lawler, and Johny Hendricks. That's how Koscheck ended up 0-3 in his last three fights. Can you really blame him? Well, yes. Koscheck broke onto the scene by being incredibly juvenile on TUF, but also by being talented. Since then he has had a mostly successful career until recently. Koscheck hasn't evolved much since his TUF days. He's a strong wrestler who had always relied on grappling and a right hand. Since then his game has improved. It became much more fluid, but still not multi dimensional enough to stay effective against fighters who are quickly surpassing his old school skill set.

3. The stakes are high in this one in a very bad way; either one loses and gets cut, or one loses and retires.

There's not a whole lot to unpack from a stylistic standpoint. It's like analyzing a fight between the Red Ranger vs. the Green Ranger. There's just not a whole lot of substance. Unless it's created (well worth your 10 minutes) by Torque/Detention mastermind Joseph Khan.

While it's easy to blame the strength of competition here between the two, it's their flaws that are largely responsible. Jake has a problem with dealing with guys who make finding that right hand difficult while staying active on the feet. If his opponent doesn't cower in the corner for fear of his right hand, which is logical for 99% of the world's population, then he has nothing to fall back on. Even worse, he seems confused by this. Rather than adapt, he waits patiently like it's only a matter of time until Christmas comes early. Plus he doesn't throw his right hand while threatening with anything else. Give this guy a Alpha Male mindset and style, and he's instantly a different fighter.

Koscheck doesn't have the same mental problem, but he functionally suffers the same way; neutralized without his right hand. Unlike Jake, he still uses his wrestling to decent effect. However, I still like Jake in this one. While I could see Koscheck winning a grinding, wrestling war (Josh still has a power double that can break through even the most dependable takedown defense). I think Koscheck is in another fight where punching power will get the best of him. He's not getting chinny so much as too anxious in response to the prospect of being slugged, windmill style. Jake's speed is fairly elite, and he has more than just right hand with his boxing, so this is fairly open and shut for me.

Prediction

Jake Ellenberger by KO, round 2.