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By Rich Hansen: MMA Torch Columnist:
UFC ON FUEL TV: SANCHEZ VS. ELLENBERGER
FEBRUARY 15, 2012
LIVE FROM OMAHA, NEBRASKA
PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
Tim Means vs. Bernando Maghales (Lightweights):
Tim Means by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Anton Kuivanen vs. Justin Salas (Lightweights):
Justin Salas by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28*) * Card was originally read as 29-27
Buddy Roberts vs. Sean Loeffler (Middleweights):
Sean Loeffler injured his ankle during his pre-fight warmups. As a result, this fight has been called off.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Vagner Rocha (Featherweights):
Jonathan Brookins by TKO (punches on the ground) at 1:32 of Round One.
- Bruce Buffer is rocking the all black, with a dark blue tie. Slick.
FIGHT ONE: IVAN "THE PRIDE OF EL SALVADOR: MENJIVAR (-235) VS. JOHN "PRINCE" ALBERT (+185) (BANTAMWEIGHTS)
- I absolutely love that Menjivar is wearing wire rimmed glasses while warming up in the back. And for those of you who don't know, John Albert was our fighter correspondent for Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter.
- Menjivar weighed in at 135 lbs. and has a 64 inch reach. Albert tipped the scales at 135 lbs., and possesses a 68 inch reach. Albert is two inches taller than Menjivar.
ROUND ONE: Jim Axtell is the referee for this fight. both guys come out swinging and kicking early, no feeling out process here. Albert lands a couple knees from a brief clinch. Menjivar gets a takedown near the cage, and lands inside of Albert's guard. Albert is looking for a triangle and switches to an omaplata. That's not going to fly on Menjivar. Menjivar escapes and pounds away with some huge hammerfists. 2 minutes in. albert is looking for a triangle or a straight armbar off os his back. Menjivar is on his feet, and both men are looking for dueling footlocks. They disengage, and Menjivar lands a soccer kick to the head. Albert lands a huge head kick that stuns Menjivar. Menjivar is in trouble, eating knees galore. Menjivar is down after eating a dozen standing knees. Albert is looking for a guillotine, thus ending the offense. Menjivar is on top, trying to get Albert's back. Big mistake by Albert. Menjivar has his back, and both hooks are in. Softening him up, rear naked choke, and it's over! Menjivar wins by RNC in a great fight. I think Albert went for that guillotine because he was tiring out.
WINNER: Ivan Menjivar by rear naked choke at 3:45 of Round 1.
STAR RATING: (***+) That was bananas. It was wicked sloppy, and Albert seemed to tire out, and the fight IQ on both sides was Kardashian-esque, but if you didn't like that fight, please find a new sport. Not every fight is going to be a technical masterpiece.
FIGHT TWO: T.J. DILLASHAW (-280) vs. WALEL WATSON (+220) (BANTAMWEIGHTS)
- Dillashaw apparently fought on a season of The Ultimate Fighter. I wouldn't know, I didn't watch it. I'll give season 15 a go, assuming Cruz and Faber stop tweeting at each other.
- Dillashaw weighed in at 136 lbs. and has a 66 inch reach. Watson tipped the scales at 135 lbs., and possesses a shocking 75 inch reach. He's also 5 inches taller.
ROUND ONE: The referee for this fight is the great Josh Rosenthal. Brittney Palmer tripped on the way back to her chair. Dillashaw with a superman punch to set up a single leg. High single, doesn't get it. Deep double leg against the cage is successful, but Watson is back up immediately. And back down. Half-guard for Dillashaw. In full guard now. Dillashaw backs off, and gets his back. Both hooks are in, and he's patiently striking Watson in the ears. Looking for a rear naked choke, but it's more of a crank as Watson defended well. Gives up the choke, but Dillashaw has him flattened out and back mounted. Dillashaw rolls into half guard, and takes his back again as Watson tries to escape. The RNC is in, and Watson's in trouble here. Watson wriggled otu again, but he's given up full mount with 1:45 left in the round. Dillashaw is pounding away, trying to be careful with where he lands the shots, as if Yamasaki is the ref or something, not the great Josh Rosenthal. Dillashaw is alternating between big strikes and choke attempts. Dillashaw is pounding away in 5 second eruptions as the round ends. 10-8 Dillashaw. Easy.
ROUND TWO: Big right for Dillashaw, set up by a fake shot. Dillashaw gets Watson down in the center of the cage. Watson is scrambling for position with his long legs. Watson passes guard, and is in half-guard. Dillashaw is peppering Watson with short left hands, and is being very measured right now. 90 seconds in. Watson is scrambling, trying to do something with his legs, but winds up getting mounted for his efforts. Watson rolls, and he's back mounted while getting slammed by huge left hands. Watson is getting smashed tonight. Watson rolls from his back to his stomach, but Dillashaw stays in mount and keeps punching away. He's outstruck Watson 110-2 so far, according to live stats. This is a patient and savage assault by Dillashaw. Now he has Watson's back, with hooks in, 50 seconds left in the round. Dillashaw is doing a wonderful job of choosing his shots, and is landing them with great accuracy. 10-8 Dillashaw. Easy.
ROUND THREE: Dillashaw has outstruck Watson 148-4 so far. I love the live stats they're using tonight, a GREAT innovation. It's better than bacon covered bacon. Mmmmmmm, bacon covered bacon. Anyhooooo, Watson charges out with a flying front kick, to no avail. Watson has life in his legs, amazingly. He needs a finish, since I doubt he's going to win the 3rd round on three cards by scores of 10-5. Dillashaw for a single leg, gets on top, side control. Watson trying for a choke from the bottom, but that's not going to play well. Dillashaw escapes, but Watson gets to his feet. Dillashaw walks into a knee, but shakes it off. Watson throwin running knees, but Dillashaw gets on his bike and escapes by 10 feet. Watson lands another standing knee, but gets taken down with a deep single. But Dillashaw lands in a triangle, and it's kind of deep. Dillashaw eats some elbows, but rolls out of it. Well defended by Dillashaw, that was a bad position. Watson gets his leg caught, and Watson is trying for a heel hook. Dillashaw isn't in trouble, but is having a hard time getting his leg free. Aaaaaaand, his leg is free. He's in full guard with 1:15 left in the fight. Dillashaw gets Watson's back, and is trying to sink the hooks in. He's got his forearm under the jaw, but Watson is defending Dillashaw's other arm so Dillashaw can't squeeze. 20 second left. Gave up the choke, flattened Watson out, and is throwing boms as the fight ends. 10-9 Dillashaw, 30-25 on my card.
WINNER: TJ Dillashaw by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
STAR RATING: (**) That was a slaughter. Dillashaw fought smart, Watson defended well. But it was so unbelievably one-sided that it's hard to feel good. I felt kind of guilty watching it, but I of course watched it nonetheless.
By the way, the only way to judge that as a 30-26 fight is to go 10-8, 10-8, and 10-10. There's no way in hell rounds 1 or 2 were 10-9 rounds, but round 3 could have been 10-10, maybe. Sorta...
FIGHT THREE: STIPE MIOCIC (-455) VS. PHILIP DE FRIES (+355)(HEAVYWEIGHTS)
ROUND ONE: Dan Miragliotta is the referee. I missed the tale of the tape while making myself a Negroni. Sorry. I'm unprofessional. de Fries lands a couple big rights flush to the head of Miocic. These guys are just swinging and landing at will. Miocic lands a straight right and knocks de Fries down, gets on top of his back, big punches from back mount and it's over. Wow! I didn't even have a chance to get to my Negroni. Campari, mmmmmmm. Back to the fight... Both guys landed 142% of the punches they threw, but Miocic's straight right turned the tide.
WINNER: Stipe Miocic by TKO at 0:43 of Round 1.
STAR RATING: (**) Meh. No standup defense from either guy. Neither guy has much of a chance at beating a top 10 heavyweight. Moving on.
- Since you were wondering, I do prefer the Americano to the Negroni, but I'm out of club soda. Negroni's too bitter for my tastes, but that's Campari for you. But if you want a good combination of gin and campari, do equal parts of gin (Hendricks, of course), campari, passao (passion fruit liqueur), and sour. I first discovered this thing at Maggiano's of all places a couple years back, and it's a winner every time.
- Fuel is showing Jon Anik's taped interview with Benson Henderson, so I have time for more cocktail talk.
- I'm not going to post recipes, but ask me and I'll tell you about the Strange Weather, Copper Dagger, and the Singapore Sling (don't fall for the impostors).
FIGHT FOUR: RONNY MARKES (-130) VS. AARON SIMPSON (EVEN) (MIDDLEWEIGHTS)
- Ronny Markes is now 216 pounds after wmaking the middleweight weight limit just yesterday. Simpson's not used to getting pushed around int he cage, but he might have to worry about that against Markes.
- Markes weighed in at 185 pounds, and has a 75 inch reach. Simpson is from Nebraska, and grew up near Omaha. Simpson weighed in yesterday at 186, and has a 73 inch reach. He's also one inch shorter than Markes.
ROUND ONE: Jim Axtell will referee this fight. Markes looks like a heavyweight, and, well, he is. Both guys swinging, Markes lands the bigger blows, and grabs a leg up against the cage. Gives it up and has a body clinch against the fence now. Axtell is already doing a Herb Dean impression, telling them to work. Not much action, admittedly. Axtell breaks them up, and we're back to the center of the cage. Simpson circling, feinting. Markes with two nice inside leg kicks. Simpson wades in, and eats a couple of punches for his efforts. Markes looks patient and comfortable. Gigantic uppercut by Simpson, Markes is down, and Simpson is looking to finish. Markes is eating a ton of shots on the canvas. Short elbows from guard by Simpson. Markes is regaining his senses, and Simpson gets to his feet, Markes on his back, trying to goad Simpson into his guard. That was close. Simpson backs up, Axtell makes Markes stand. 1 minute left. Both fighters exchange a couple of shots in the last minute. 10-9 Simpson. One punch made the difference.
ROUND TWO: Simpson didn't take the stool between rounds. Simpson lands another right, and Markes is landing leg kicks again. Simpson's lead left leg is candy apple red. Simpson presses Markes up against the cage, has an underhook, and is landing knees to Markes' thigh. They separate. Another leg kick by Markes. Both guys throw bombs. Both guys miss. Simpson shoots, stuffed., but presses Markes against the cage once again and has an underhook. More knees to Markes' thigh. Markes pushes Simpson off. Clinch in the middle, Simpson pushes Markes against the cage at the halfway point of the round, and the fight. Markes reverses position, and has Simpson pressed to the fence. Simpson is trying a leg trip, but Markes keeps his balance. Both guys are reversing position. While spinning around, Markes throws Simpson and lands in half-guard. simpson is on his back, but has an underhook. Crowd is booing lustily. Simpson is trying to sweep, but is eating shots as he tries. Eventually gets to his feet, and gets pressed against the cage, and Markes has an underhook. 10-9 Markes.
ROUND THREE: Simpson throws a big right and follows up with a clinch. Markes avoids getting pushed into the fence, and they disengage. Another leg kick from Markes. Pace has slowed tremendously. Lots of missed punches by Leonard Garcia I mean by Markes and Simpson. Another leg kick, checked somewhat by Simpson. Up against the cage again, struggling for a dominant position. Markes gets position, and lands a foot stomp. I love it. So cheap and dirty (no comment). Axtell breaks them apart after about 4 seconds. Sigh. 3 minutes left. Simpson goes body body head, and Markes lands more leg kicks. Markes is being the aggressor right now. Push kick by Simpson to keep Markes at bay, but he gets through and, wait for it, rpesses Simpson against the fence. Foot stomps! So cheap, so dirty, so awesome! Insert joke here. Another break ordered by Axtell, 90 seconds left. Simpson charges in, lands a big right, but eats one, and then eats a big knee as well. Simpson gets a double leg, but Markes springs up faster than a Weeble. Simpson with an overhand right, but either ate a counter or slipped, because he fell down. Markes gets his back, standing. Markes drives Simpson into the fence, still has his back. Gets a takedown with 20 seconds left. If Markes weren't already winning the round, that takedown would have taken the round. I know, I know. Sorry. 10-9 Markes. I have it 29-28 Markes.
WINNER: Ronny Markes by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (**-) Tedious, but not unskilled. Kind of like Matt Pelkey's writing.
- Fuel airs the Brookins vs. Rocha fight from earlier tonight. In short, Brookins took Rocha down and knocked him unconsicious with a two big rights from the top. Great power displayed by Brookins.
- More commercials, then an interview with Frankie Edgar, next on Fuel. Meanwhile, the home bar is destined to be about 4 ounces lighter soon. I'm on the clock, so I suppose it should be a short one. Hendricks and iced tea, with Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters it is.
FIGHT FIVE: STEFAN "SKYSCRAPER" STRUVE (-105) VS. DAVE HERMAN (-125) (HEAVYWEIGHTS)
- Struve weight 256 pounds and has an 84" reach. Herman is 234, with a 75 inch reach. twitter tells me Herman walked out to the cage to the song "Macho Man." Yep.
ROUND ONE: The third man in the cage for this clash is the world's best referee, Josh Rosenthal. touch of gloves, and we're off. Herman looks so tiny, go figure. Herman with a jab leg kick combo. Head kick by Struve, lands partially. Herman wades in with a three punch combination. Leg kick by Herman. Struve is a statue so far. Struve tries an overhand right, but Herman backs off and it misses by a mile. Not much action so far. Herman lands a couple big rights as Struve retreats. Body kick from Herman. Struve looks very tentative, and is just moving straight backwards. Struve lands, but gets tagged by a Herman right hand. Round is half over. Nice right by Struve, but Herman counters. Stuve is throwing jab leg kick combos with nothing behind them. Herman lands again. Leg kick by Herman, followed by a high body kick, as if it's possible to land a head kick on the 12 foot tall Struve (rounding up to the nearest 12 feet, of course...). Body shot by Herman, and Struve retreats to the cage. Trading leg kicks, and Struve is grinning. Both fighters are being very cautious, but it's Herman's round easy. 10-9 Herman.
ROUND TWO: Nice left hook right leg kick combo by Herman. Struve gets a takedown, lands in mount, and is pounding away. Herman gives up his back., but Herman sneaks out. I totally missed how he got that takedown. HErman backs away, Struve stands. 1 minute in. Leg kick by Struve. Struve is standing in way too close for someone with an 84 inch reach. Go figure. Lazy leg kick by Struve, easily checked. Herman eats a big body kick. Herman's corner told him between rounds to move side to side, which he's doing, and he walked into a huge kick for his efforts. Herman's throwing nice combinations here. Half way point. Nice punch kick combo by Struve, but Herman got his hand up. Struve landed a few straight rights, but Herman escaped. Herman is bleeding under his left eye now. Struve is getting more aggressive, and Herman's on his bike. Struve drops Herman with a straight right, left leg kick, uppercut combo, and jumps into side control, full mount again. Struve is pounding away, and this is going to be stopped soon. Yep. It's over. And Herman is not happy with the best referee in the sport.
WINNER: Stefan Struve by TKO at 3:52 of Round 2
STAR RATING: (**-) That was bowling shirt ugly. But credit to Struve for getting more comfortable and aggressive in round 2.
FIGHT SIX: DIEGO SANCHEZ (+300) VS. JAKE ELLENBERGER (-400)(WELTERWEIGHTS)
- I think it's pretty cool that Ellenberger is fighting tonight in the same building where he was awarded his high school diploma. That's certainly more cool than making his entrance to Coming Home by Sean Combs. So cliche. It's just as cliche as someone calling him Sean Combs instead of Diddy, ya know? See, I'm self-aware.
- Diego has been very honest about his struggles. Almost a little too honest, ya know? It's kind of uncomfortable listening to him talk about the low point(s) of his personal life. Diego made his way to the cage holding out a cross to the camera for the whole world to see. Not touching that one. Kenny Florian touched that one, however, wondering if Sanchez thought Ellenberger was a vampire, to explain the cross.
- Sanchez has a 72 inch reach, Ellenberger's is 73 inches. Both fighters weighed in at 170 pounds yesterday. Ellenberger is 2 inches taller.
ROUND ONE: Dan Miragliotta is the referee for the main event. Ellenberger charges in to begin the fight, but nothing much comes of it. Both fighters are feeling each other out throughout the first minute. Sanchez charges in, misses, and eats a couple tight hooks. Not much action so far, 2 minutes in. Ellenberger is moving forward more than Sanchez, for what it's worth. Nice knee on a charging Sanchez. As Anik points out, it was a similar to the knee that floored Jake Shields in September. Sanchez lands a nice right. Sanchez is going to have to fight at a lot more pace if he wants to gas Ellenberger out late. Both guys landed in a nice exchange with 75 seconds left in the round. head kick by Diego. Sanchez comes in, but gets knocked down by a big counter right. Sanchez pops back up, but that landed flush. Diego with another head kick right hook combo, but Jake avoided damage. Sanchez ate another big right at the end of the round, and Diego's bleeding from the nose. It's probably broken. 10-9 Ellenberger. Lesser men than Diego would have been finished.
ROUND TWO: Spinning kick by Sanchez, which didn't land flush. Ellenberger has Sanchez backing up, which is a rare sight for sure. Sanchez blocks a high kick. Ellenberger is landing leg kicks. Another wheel kick from Sanchez, missed entirely. Every time Sanchez throws a kick, Ellenberger lands a counter left. He's really found his range, and isn't getting hit as much as he was in the first. Ellenberger's doing a great job with his footwork, Sanchez missing a lot. Half way through the fight. Sanchez throws a sloppy combination, Ellenberger avoided it all easily. Sanchez charges in, lands a glancing right hook, but Ellenberger lands a punch of his own. Sanchez rushes forward, misses a wild rught. Sanchez with a wild hook, Ellenberger ducks under and gets a strong double leg takedown in the middle of the cage. Lands in full guard. Sanchez is controlling Ellenberger's posture well so far, 35 seconds left. Both guys are active, but Ellenberger's not landing much yet. Ellenberger is unloading with big elbows in the last 10 seconds. those were ginormous shots at the end, and Sanchez is very bloody. 10-9 Ellenberger.
ROUND THREE: Ellenberger lands a 3 punch combo right away. He's just too good for Sanchez, and maybe for everybody at 170. Yep, I said it. Ellenberger doesn't respect Sanchez's power one little bit. nice left low kick left hook combo trips Sanchez. Nice technique. Sanchez eats yet another straight left. Sanchez is being aggressive, but he can't find his range. Ellenberger is outstriking Diego by a 2 to 1 ratio. He's doing a great job mixing up his stand up techniques. Sanchez bullrushes, lands a couple nice shots and forces Ellenberger to retreat, but eats a right and almost got taken down. Sanchez is gassing out, probably from the broken nose. 2 minutes left. Ellenberger is bleeding from the last assault. Nice left by Sanchez, who has found his range. Big left ot the body by Diego, but Ellenberger gets a takedown with 90 seconds left. Sanchez tries to walk walk. Ellenberger lost his position, Diego takes his back and is smashing Ellenberger. Diego's got his back and is trying to finish. He's getting pounded here! 35 seconds left, and Diego has him mounted. Now he's looking for the choke. Ellenberger has 25 seconds left to survivcee. Diego gives up the choke and is landing lefts and rights at will! Oh my god! Ellenberger escaped, and the fight is over! 10-9 Sanchez. 29-28 Ellenberger.
WINNER: Jake Ellenberger by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
STAR RATING: (****-) Major bump up for the last two minutes. I don't know how close Big Dan was to stopping that fight, but It was a fantastic display of heart from both fighters. That third round was as dramatic as you're going to see. OK, it wasn't the fifth round of Santiago-Misaki 2, but nothing is. That's a hell of a fight, people. Jake Ellenberger was given the chance by Jon Anik to call out Carlos Condit, and he totally recoiled. He beats Condit if they fight, but if he won't call him out, screw it. Give him Matt Riddle if he doesn't want to call out the champion when being offered a chance to do so.
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