This was supposed to be one of those inspirational stories.
But Ellenberger had other plans.
Shields, a man who hadn't been knocked out since the third fight of his professional career over 11 years ago, a man who just went 25 hard-fought minutes against champion George St. Pierre this past April, was completely and utterly destroyed in less than a minute by "The Juggernaut" last night (September 17, 2011).
So how in the world did this happen? And what happens next for both fighters?
Ellenberger displayed his strength early, throwing Shields to the canvas with ease before backing away. He showcased his improvements just moments later when Shields ducked his big right hand and got in deep for a takedown but was fended off and pushed away.
After some distance had been created, Shields ate a right hook behind the ears while closing the distance. This may have stunned him because it allowed Ellenberger the opening to put him in the Thai clinch.
Watch how fast, even in slow motion Ellenberger wraps both hands behind Shields' head in the Thai clinch, throws a knee to the body to fold Shields over and then blast Shields with a massive knee to the face.
From that point on, it was just some quick ground and pound and the fight was as good as over.
For Jake Shields, this loss has to hurt considerably more than the title defeat to Georges St. Pierre. This was a lose-lose situation for him. If he wins, he was supposed to win because he was so much higher ranked than Ellenberger and if he loses, he's overrated. Shields got caught with a huge knee that would have knocked out a horse, there's nothing to be ashamed of in that.
Look for Jake to really go back to his roots after this bout, focus hard on setting up takedowns with his striking to catch his opponents off guard and put them on their backs. That's where he's best. Perhaps being able to survive 25 minutes of stand-up with GSP gave him a false sense of security but no bones about it, Jake Ellenberger hits HARD. For Shields, an ideal opponent would be Mike Pyle or perhaps the upcoming loser of the Anthony Johnson vs. Charlie Brenneman fight.
For Jake Ellenberger, this was his coming out party. "The Juggernaut" looked incredible in his brief 53 seconds of action, showcasing his strength, takedown defense, punching power and an improving Muay Thai clinch to go along with his already heralded killer instinct. He saw the wounded animal and he put it out of its misery. With his newfound status at the top of the division, Ellenberger can expect an extremely tough fight in his next bout.
Don't be surprised to see him paired up against the winner of Anthony Johnson vs. Charlie Brenneman or if Dana White doesn't trust Nick Diaz yet, the winner of the Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn fight. With the ease of his victory, he could also be a late injury replacement for any major upcoming welterweight attraction as well.
So were you surprised by this result Maniacs? Does this quick finish raise more questions about Georges St. Pierre's ability to put away his opponents? Is Jake Ellenberger the hardest hitter in the welterweight division?
All gifs by Zombie Prophet via IronForgesIron.com