Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) went outside the box by bringing mixed martial arts (MMA) fans an event this past Wednesday evening (Feb. 15, 2012) in Omaha, Nebraska. It was also the first time FUEL TV played host to a full fight card.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 ransacked the Omaha Civic Auditorium with a fight card that featured a main event riddled with title implications.
When Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger went toe-to-toe, the first two rounds were brutally dominated by "The Juggernaut" and it looked like "The Dream" was in danger of being finished like so many of Ellenberger's past opponents.
In the third and final round, Sanchez turned things up a notch, mounting a comeback effort that lead to one of the more exciting fights we've seen in a while. Ultimately, it was too little too late, as Ellenberger earned the unanimous decision win.
After the jump, we'll take a closer look at the rest of the noteworthy moments from UFC on FUEL TV 1: "Sanchez vs. Ellenberger."
It was a welterweight war that could have easily been a pay-per-view main event. The fans who were lucky enough to have a free Wednesday evening and FUEL TV were able to view it for free.
Both fighters emerged with badly damaged noses, a few scrapes and bruises and the respect of everyone who watched.
Afterwards, Sanchez echoed sentiments that were shared by many who watched the fight when he said: "I thought all main event were gonna be five rounds?!"
Later in the evening, UFC President Dana White went on record as saying that he blew it with this main event, and that from now on, all main events will, indeed, be five round affairs.
Ellenberger's win left fans and analysts wondering what would be next in his fighting future. There are a lot of options, but most of them are currently unavailable.
You can read about what a couple of our "experts" think may be next for Ellenberger here and here.
Ultimately, the decision will be up to Dana White and his main matchmakers. It might be Carlos Condit. Maybe it will be the winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck. Maybe, it will be neither. We can only wait and see.
Read a full recap with in-depth analysis of the Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger fight at UFC on FUEL TV 1 here. For full fight video highlights of "Sanchez vs. Ellenberger," click here.
The co-main event showcased two big heavyweights as Stefan Struve took on relative newcomer to Octagon, Dave Herman.
The fight started off with Herman unleashing some powerful striking and making "The Skyscraper" look a little tentative.
The second round was a huge game changer, when Struve came out looking like a changed. After he used some of his trademark slapping kicks to keep Herman at bay and off balance, he spotted a hole, snuck in a huge uppercut that floored "Pee Wee," and it was all downhill from there.
Within seconds, Struve had stopped his opponent under an absolute storm of strikes, showing the world that he's a 265-pounder that should not be forgotten about.
Check out an informative synopsis of the Stefan Struve vs. Dave Herman fight at UFC on FUEL TV 1 here. Watch full video highlights from "Struve vs. Herman" here.
Four of the nine fights on this card were finished by (technical) knockout or submission. As usual, the standouts of the night were given a big check for their efforts, this time to the tune of $50,000 each.
Possibly the biggest standout was Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger, which was given the nod for "Fight of the Night." It was the fifth time Sanchez has shared the honor.
Read the list of fight bonus award winners, including "Knockout of the Night," "Submission of the Night," and "Fight of the Night" here.
Those are just some of the finer points of UFC on FUEL TV 1 that made our mental scrapbook. How about you? What would your recap look like? Give us your rundown in the comments section.
For complete UFC on FUEL TV 1 results and a detailed recap of all the action click here. To check out a recap of the UFC on FUEL TV 1 prelim fights that were seen on Facebook, click here.
And just in case you want to get up to speed on the entire UFC on FUEL TV 1 fight card from top to bottom click here.