OMAHA, NE - FEBRUARY 15: (L-R) Diego Sanchez punches Jake Ellenberger during the UFC on FUEL TV event at Omaha Civic Auditorium on February 15, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.
Unless you already signed on the dotted line and committed to a three rounder for an upcoming event, it looks like every fight card under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner will now feature a five round headliner.
That's according to UFC President Dana White, who admits he "blew it" with the Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger fight at the UFC on FUEL TV event last Wednesday night (Feb. 15, 2012) at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ellenberger was in cruise control for the first two round of their featured bout, but as the clock began to wind down in the third and final frame, Sanchez was able to turn on the jets and take advantage of a winded "Juggernaut," flattening him out and pounding him into the floor.
"The Dream" was unable to secure what would have been one of the craziest comebacks in UFC history, but also demonstrated why he, along with countless other Octagon warriors, can never be counted out.
And why every big fight can benefit from a pair of extra rounds.
White breaks it down for Ariel Helwani, after the jump.
"We blew it, it should have been a five round fight. I was sitting here again tonight looking at the fight going, 'Yeah, this shoulda been five rounds.' I think that if Ellenberger and Diego went back in there for a fourth round the place would have went crazy. People were ready for it at home. I'm not gonna throw anybody under the bus but we blew it, we shoulda done it. There will be five round fights from now on. FUEL would have let us do 33 rounds if we wanted to so yeah, there will be five round fights from here on in -- other than contracts that have already been signed."
White suggests there were other factors in the decision to keep Sanchez vs. Ellenberger a three round fight, but FUEL TV wasn't one of them. Regardless, it looks as if this fight, if nothing else, has been the catalyst to make a permanent change.
No more "championship rounds."
Not all fans have stood in staunch support of the decision to have non-title fight main events go five rounds, leaving little to differentiate regular headliners from the specialness of title fights.
What's your take?
Did Sanchez vs. Ellenberger prove to you that all main events should be five rounds? Or that main event fighters need to make better use of the clock?