If the goal of UFC 158 was to sort out the top of the welterweight division, it was a success. Well, it was mostly a success.
I say mostly because while the card did set up a championship bout it also reminded us that there is another welterweight out there that seems to get overlooked a bit when we discuss fighters at the top of the division.
In the evening’s main event, Georges St-Pierre did what we have come to expect from him. The welterweight champion walked into the Octagon on March 16 with a game plan to defeat Nick Diaz and never deviated from that plan on his way to a unanimous decision.
As for the co-main event, Johny Hendricks erased any doubt that he was the true number one contender in the division when he earned a unanimous decision over former WEC / interim UFC champion Carlos Condit in a “Fight of the Night” performance.
Those two victories set up the next welterweight title scrap. Barring injury or any type of freak change of plans, St-Pierre will defend his title against Hendricks.
However, the star of the night and the fighter that may have had his stock rise the most was Jake Ellenberger. Ellenberger had originally been scheduled to face Hendricks on the card, but an injury to Condit’s original opponent, Rory MacDonald, caused the card to be shuffled. Instead of facing Hendricks, Ellenberger faced former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt.
Ellenberger made short work of Marquardt, knocking him out in the first round and taking home “Knockout of the Night” honors for his troubles. The win reminded all of us that not too long ago Ellenberger was being discussed as a potential contender for St-Pierre’s welterweight crown. That discussion will surely be renewed if the Division 2 All-American wrestler is able to gain a victory in his next bout.
Ellenberger, a threat on the mat and with his hands, recently took the time to discuss who he feels are the top wrestlers in mixed martial arts right now. Have a look and see if you agree with the Ellenberger.