Dana White: Jake Ellenberger can't pull the trigger, has a lot of work to do in welterweight division

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

Especially after being unable to go for broke in two recent high-profile fights.

Power-punching Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Jake Ellenberger had a charitable No. 5 position in the official UFC rankings, something he could have easily justified -- and perhaps exceeded -- with a big win over Robbie Lawler in "Sin City."

Except he couldn't "pull the trigger."

That's according to UFC President Dana White, who told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media (video here) that Ellenberger has a lot of work to do after his tepid performance at the UFC 173 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday night (May 24, 2014) in Las Vegas, Nevada (watch it).

His words:

"Listen, there's guys that pull the trigger when it's time to step up, and there's guys who don't pull the trigger. This is two times where he was in the spotlight and had big opportunities and he didn't pull the trigger. When you're in a big fight like that and you're down two rounds, you come out in that third round and you try to win. He didn't do that. He didn't do it in the MacDonald fight, either. He's got a lot of work to do."

Indeed.

This is the second time Ellenberger had a chance to vault himself into title contention.

"The Juggernaut" was paired off against rising 170-pound phenom Rory MacDonald at the UFC on FOX 8 event last July, but was unable to get his hands going and ultimately lost a boring unanimous decision to "Ares," who was sticking and moving for 15 minutes in Seattle.

Back to the drawing board.

Ellenberger (29-8) has now dropped two straight and three of his last five -- with two finishes -- and could find himself on the unemployment line if he's unable to lock and load in his next couple of fights. Speaking of which, any potential opponents come to mind?

For complete UFC 173 results click here.

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