MONTREAL – UFC 158 was billed as an unofficial welterweight tournament of sorts.
Things got a lot bit sorted out in the top four spots. And then there’s Jake Ellenberger.
Ellenberger (29-6 MMA, 8-2 UFC) on Saturday knocked out former Strikeforce welterweight champ Nate Marquardt (32-12-2 MMA, 10-5 UFC) in the first round. The only problem is, where does that put him in the division.
Champion Georges St-Pierre was victorious over Nick Diaz. Johny Hendricks moved to next in line for GSP with his unanimous decision win over Carlos Condit at UFC 158 in Newark, N.J.
So where does that leave Ellenberger, who has won two straight and eight of his past nine? Even he’s not sure.
“I’m not really sure right now,” Ellenberger said. “I was just so focused on Nate Marquardt tonight and winning the fight. I’ve never turned down anyone in the UFC. Anyone they’ve put me against, I’ve matched up. I’m focusing on that title shot myself.
At the very least, Ellenberger’s boss,UFC President Dana White, took notice. Ellenberger got a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night bonus for his win.
“It was awesome,” White said of Ellenberger’s performance. “One of the things I said to him in the back, he didn’t go for a takedown. He stood right in there with Nate Marquardt and banged and finished him.”
Marquardt had gone more than five and a half years without being knocked out – until Ellberger did what he did on Saturday night.
White said after the post-event news conference that the fact Ellenberger didn’t rely on his wrestling prowess to beat Marquardt was of particular note.
“I think Ellenberger looked awesome,” White said. The thing that was most impressive about Ellenberger was he didn’t wrestle with him. He stood up with him.”
For complete coverage of UFC 158, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.