This article was originally published at JIMMA.
The UFC's first event on Fuel is happening this Wednesday night and features an important bout between Jake Ellengerger and Diego Sanchez. Jake Ellenberger has been making waves in the division and is seen by many as one of the pack pushing for a title shot, should Carlos Condit decide to defend his belt without waiting for the return of Georges Saint-Pierre. Diego Sanchez is an interesting character with a non-stop aggressive style. In recent years he has been battling various demons in his life and his nickname change from "The Nightmare" to "The Dream" is supposed to represent a changed man. Either way, this is one of those fights where to powerful forces collide and the consequence will surely be an explosion.
UFC on FUEL TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger (LIVE) 2.15.12 (via fueltv)
- Diego Sanchez has had two Fight of the Night victories in a row, most recently against Martin Kampman.
- Ellenberger is on an impressive 5 fight win streak, including a huge scalp in Jake Shields.
Ellenberger is massive at 170lb. He has an immensely powerful wrestling style and manages to bully most other fighters. In recent years he has shown a diverse and powerful striking skill set too, as we saw with his brutal knockouts of Jake Shields and Mike Pyle.
Diego Sanchez has one of the most famously intense styles of fighting in MMA today. He pushes a pace that almost nobody can deal with and is wild and almost reckless in his aggression. He is on a bit of a decision streak at the moment, going the distance in his last three fights, but his fights are exciting nevertheless. Sanchez is an accomplished wrestler and submission grappler and loves to use those skills to control a fight, but he is just as likely to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing for a brutal scrap.
Head to Head
Jake Ellenberger's nickname is the juggernaut and it is pretty appropriate. When he is moving forward he is nigh on impossible to stop. Sanchez is something of an indomitable force himself and that is what makes this fight so interesting and exciting. Sanchez has an unstoppable pace and intensity and Ellenberger has unstoppable power and physical domination.
With Ellenberger the bigger, stronger fighter, it may well be him who manages to dominate the wrestling and clinching. For Sanchez, the key will be staying on the feet and attempting to pick Ellenberger apart with sharp boxing. That is where Sanchez will have a problem. He loves to move forward and make fights messy. I wonder if he will have the discipline to stay away from Ellenberger's big bombs and powerful wrestling and I wonder whether he has the skills and footwork too.
To me, it seems like Ellenberger is a huge favourite as he is likely to be the one who controls where the fight takes place and the pace of the action. This more or less takes away Sanchez's main advantage.
Ellenberger will dominate but Sanchez is tough to put away. Ellenberger by unanimous decision.