Waldburger was extremely game, threatening with everything from his striking to his very lethal submission attempts, but Ebersole's experience was his constant base to fall back on.
No matter how bad things seemed for Ebersole, "Bad Boy" was able to work his way out of any situation.
So what was the deciding factor that allowed the hair-rowed star to prevail in the end? And what happens next for both welterweights?
Follow me after the jump for our Brian Ebersole vs. T.J. Waldburger UFC on FX 4 post-fight review and analysis
Waldburger caught Ebersole off guard early, striking effectively and actually getting inside on the veteran. He not only connected, but he actually rocked the Ameristralian, dropping him with a sharp right hook to the jaw.
To his credit, Ebersole recovered and even stubbornly hung in there despite a very dangerous choke attempt from his Texan opponent. Not only did Ebersole escape the hold, but he popped back to his feet and then landed a heavy elbow from the clinch too.
In rounds two and three, Ebersole primarily reverted to his wrestling roots, taking Waldburger down repeatedly while avoiding the multiple submission attempts being tossed his way from the bottom. His experience allowed him to neutralize Waldburger's purple belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu attack.
Waldburger continued to bring it, aggressively throwing punches and kicks while mixing in takedown attempts of his own, but Ebersole was eventually able to make the necessary adjustments and neutralize all of the 24 year old's offense, winning the final two rounds to score a unanimous decision victory.
For T.J. Waldburger, this was actually a very strong showing. He got an opportunity to showcase the improvements in his striking and I don't think anyone expected him to actually be the first man to drop the iron-chinned Ebersole in the Octagon. He almost had the veteran with a side choke as well but Ebersole was simply too stubborn to quit. I think despite the loss, Waldburger proved that he's got the talent to hang around and eventually be a player in the division. He's still young and has plenty of room for growth.
Potential opponents for the 24-year old Texan include Carlos Eduardo Rocha, Paulo Thiago or perhaps Pascal Krauss. As long as he gets another opportunity to continue to showcase improvement, I think he has a bright future.
For Brian Ebersole, he definitely got caught off guard by Waldburger's striking early, but credit to him for hanging tough despite being put in an extremely perilous situation. He never panicked despite being hurt, getting choked and being put on his back early in the second and made sure to transition to his wrestling where he could hurt Waldburger with ground and pound which included a nice assortment of short elbow strikes. His ability to neutralize Waldburger's aggressive grappling allowed him to pull out the decision.
I'd like to see Ebersole take a big leap in competition level next. He's now 4-0 in the UFC and it's time to see what this veteran is made of. I think a fight against the winner of Demian Maia vs. Dong Hyun Kim, a bout against Erick Silva or perhaps fellow UFC on FX 4 winner Rick Story would make sense.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you impressed by Waldburger's aggression early on? Did you feel Ebersole made the necessary adjustments to pull out a decision? Who has the brighter future?