UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger is on a quest to be the best in the world just as every fighter that takes his craft seriously. However, he took a major step to proving that he’s one of the best by taking out Jake Shields in the very first round this past Saturday night.
Jake Shields went the distance in a loss to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in his last outing at UFC 129 earlier this year, and hadn’t lost since 2004 prior to that bout. In over 30 professional fights Shields had only been stopped via TKO/KO once which happened in his third pro fight back in 2000.
Ellenberger was the second person to stop Shields via TKO, and he made it look relatively easy on Saturday night. He shrugged off a couple takedown attempts from Shields to score with a couple of punches of his own before landing a devastating knee that really shook Shields up before pouncing and finishing him off with punches.
Ellenberger is 5-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming against Carlos Condit, a fight in which Ellenberger took on about two weeks notice. Ellenberger really took the fight to Condit hurting him early and often only to run out of gas late in the fight which allowed Condit to take a razor close split decision win. Since that loss, Ellenberger has won five straight with four of those fights ending via TKO.
He’s a welcome addition at the top of the division. He’s a fighter that fights aggressively and looks to end his fights via TKO/KO. But more importantly, Ellenberger is a fighter that the current champion Georges St. Pierre hasn’t fought yet as St. Pierre is really close to cleaning out the entire welterweight division and he’ll face the same Carlos Condit at UFC 137 that narrowly defeated Ellenberger.
Ellenberger is the type of fighter that could pose problems for St. Pierre (if he retains the title) as he has dynamite in his hands and has more in his arsenal than just a big overhand right like Josh Koscheck.
It’ll be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do with Ellenberger as he isn’t well known to casual fans. If he keeps performing like he did on Saturday night, they’ll begin to recognize him in due time. However, I am sure the UFC welterweight division is already taking notice.