OMAHA, NE - FEBRUARY 15: Jake Ellenberger took down Diego Sanchez in a welterweight scrap with title implications during the UFC on FUEL TV event at Omaha Civic Auditorium on February 15, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. So, what's next? (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.)
On Feb. 15, 2012, two very talented Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights engaged in mixed martial arts (MMA) combat when Diego Sanchez faced Jake Ellenberger for the main event of UFC on FUEL TV in Omaha, Nebraska.
For two rounds, Ellenberger put on a passionate and dominant performance. He dealt Sanchez a broken nose in the first round, and he never took a break from inflicting damage on the same spot.
In the third frame, Sanchez turned the tables and came close to finishing the fight. Ellenberger's determination and submission defense proved to be enough to rescue him from the onslaught and deliver him to victory.
This fight was an illustration of what happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force. You get one of the finer fights of 2012.
After the jump, we'll offer our best guesses as to what may be next for UFC on FUEL's big winner, Jake Ellenberger:
With a victory over Diego Sanchez, Jake Ellenberger has put himself in a position for a title shot. But is that a possibility?
It depends on who you talk to. The whole welterweight picture is so murky right now, in general. Georges St. Pierre is hurt and still recovering from a serious knee injury. Carlos Condit appears to be waiting for "GSP" to be ready so he can get his shot at unifying the interim and actual championship belts.
Nick Diaz is in the middle of one of the biggest fights of his life, but it isn't in the cage. After testing positive for marijuana metabolizers after his UFC 143 bout versus Carlos Condit on Feb. 4, 2012. He's now challenging the ruling and hoping to avoid a lengthy suspension.
Either way -- didn't he say he was retiring?
My preference would be for Ellenberger to finally get his rematch versus Condit. Right now, it makes a ton of sense and sells a lot of tickets. If it's possible and all the parties involved will sign, I don't see how you can argue with that being the best fight.
But it's possible that it won't come together. Condit may opt to wait. St. Pierre may recover sooner than we'd originally thought, removing Condit from other options, anyway.
If it's not Condit, then who?
I'm gonna throw a suggestion out there. If you like it, you can take it. If you don't, send it right on back.
I know, I know. He's still so young and maybe a little green. He's just so good. At least that's my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'll tell you how we can find out: Put him in there with a top notch fighter.
He's technically coming off a loss, but it's the kind of "loss" that Jon Jones suffered at the hands (and forehead) of Matt Hamill. Nobody who is being honest is considering that a legitimate loss. Nobody.
Tell me that you wouldn't want to watch Jake Ellenberger vs. Erick Silva. You can't. It may not be the best option, but it's a pretty good "Plan B."
Anyway, that's enough of my banter. I'd love to hear some suggestions from you Maniacs. By all means, let us know who you think Jake Ellenberger should fight with a comment (or 10) below!