Pictured: Jake Ellenberger
Georges St. Pierre's knee injury and subsequent lengthy rehabilitation process has created quite the conundrum for the UFC welterweight division.
Because "Rush" has been (and will continue to be) out for so long, the powers that be felt the need to create an interim championship that Carlos Condit won when he defeated Nick Diaz at UFC 143 this past Sat., Feb. 4, 2012, in Las Vegas.
Now, "The Natural Born Killer" is in the unenviable position of deciding whether or not to wait for St. Pierre to get healthy -- which may not be until November -- or to fight a top contender.
Someone like, say, Jake Ellenberger.
Indeed, "The Juggernaut" is streaking through the 170-pound division, having won five consecutive fights since losing in his debut with the promotion. That loss was a razor thin split decision to -- you guessed it -- Condit.
Ellenberger desires a rematch and likely has the best case for a title shot of any welterweight in the weight class right now. There's just one man standing in his way, a man he tells USA Today has all his attention for the time being.
"I would definitely like (a rematch with Condit), but right now, I really haven't thought much past Diego at all. He's an extremely tough challenge for me right now and that's really all I've been focused on. After this fight, we can go back and evaluate the situation, but really, Diego's all I've been focused on. ... Diego's always been an exciting fighter and a tough cat too. He's just another guy I have to get past and prove I'm one of the best."
Assuming he gets past Sanchez, that would mark six consecutive victories with at least four coming by way of stoppage. His last win was also his most impressive, having knocked out Jake Shields in just 53 seconds.
There isn't another welterweight on Earth who can make such a claim and have it actually be true.
Of course, it's entirely possible Condit will want to wait for St. Pierre to get healthy because why risk a shot at unifying the belts for a what would promise to be a tough fight against Ellenberger?
Again, though, that's assuming "The Dream" doesn't go all "Nightmare" again and spoil the party.
Let's assume Ellenberger wins next Wednesday night (Feb. 15, 2012) in Omaha, Nebraska, at UFC on FUEL TV 1. Should UFC try to book a rematch against Condit while St. Pierre gets healthy? Or maybe Ellenberger vs. Johny Hendricks makes more sense?