Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight veterans Jake Ellenberger and Jorge Masvidal dueled last night (Dec. 3, 2016) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale inside Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ellenberger saved his UFC career in his last bout, but he faced another tough test in this match up. Opposite the durable and well-rounded "Gamebred," Ellenberger was forced to mix it up a bit. Masvidal’s position as a Welterweight inside the Octagon was still unproven heading into this bout. The Florida-native needed to prove that he could actually beat the division’s best and not just make it close, and Masvidal was looking to make a statement here.
Mission accomplished ... but it was not without a little "weird" controversy (watch it).
This one nearly ended immediately. Masvidal stepped to his opponent with a lot of hard kicks, and it wasn’t long before he hurt Ellenberger with body kicks and a combination. The veteran swarmed his opponent and ripped his body repeatedly, dropping Ellenberger to the mat.
Ellenberger survived, but it was not the start he’d been hoping for.
Masvidal took his foot off the gas for about a minute, but he really went after him after catching his breath again. Once again, he dug into his opponent’s body with kicks and nailed some sharp counter punches, causing Ellenberger to dive into a desperation takedown. He missed pretty badly and ran into the fence. Somehow, his toe wound up stuck in the fence, and Ellenberger couldn’t move while his foe poured on extra punches. Referee Herb Dean was forced to call a stop to the bout, as Ellenberger couldn’t defend himself.
It may have been anticlimactic, but this was a stellar performance and big win for "Gamebred."
Finally, Masvidal really let it loose and went after his opponent. He’s been a technical master for years, but Masvidal’s restraint has cost him quite a few split decisions in the past. That wasn’t the case last night.
Masvidal really put all his favorite techniques together in this match up. He worked his opponent’s body beautifully, digging into the liver with hard kicks and his nasty left hook. His boxing looked sharp as ever, clipping his opponent at the end of his combos and pulled to land counters as well. Finally, Masvidal’s clinch work was on point, as he landed elbows and knees while pursuing the finish.
It was really gorgeous stuff.
Masvidal called out Donald Cerrone in his post-fight interview, which is a great fight that probably won’t happen. If not, any Top 15-ranked fighter would make sense for the Florida-native.
As for Ellenberger — bizarre ending or no — he was getting his ass kicked. There’s not much more to say; he landed a couple hard punches, but for the most part he was on the wrong end of a beat down. Ellenberger simply never got going. Each time he tried to attack, Masvidal would immediately counter or shake it off without much issue. That’s demoralizing, and it left Ellenberger wide open to take shots.
Assuming Ellenberger is given another shot, he needs a step back in competition. Someone along the lines of Marlon Moraes would make sense, as Ellenberger clearly is not a top contender anymore.
Last night at TUF 24 Finale, Jorge Masvidal finished his foe in the first round. How high can Masvidal climb at 170 pounds?
For complete TUF 24 Finale "Johnson vs Elliott" results and play-by-play, click HERE!