Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jake Ellenberger Defeats Diego Sanchez in UFC Welterweight Bout in Omaha: Ellenberger Downs Sanchez on UFC Fight Night

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jake Ellenberger Defeats Diego Sanchez in UFC Welterweight Bout in Omaha: Ellenberger Downs Sanchez on UFC Fight Night

Article excerpt

OMAHA, Neb. - Welterweight Jake (The Juggernaut) Ellenberger picked Diego (The Dream) Sanchez apart in the first two rounds and then survived a late onslaught in the third en route to a unanimous decision win on a televised UFC Fight Night card Wednesday.

The win moves Ellenberger up the ranks of a 170-pound division ruled by injured champion Georges St-Pierre of Montreal and interim title-holder Carlos (Natural Born Killer) Condit.

For Sanchez, who did not look in top shape, it was a gutsy performance in a losing cause. But his rally was too little, too late.

All three judges scored it 29-28 for Ellenberger.

"He's the toughest guy I've ever fought," said Ellenberger. "He's a true warrior."

Sanchez (25-5) came at Ellenberger in the first round but usually paid a price.

The bigger Ellenberger (27-4) had some success with his knee and then knocked him down with a counter punch as the round neared an end. And Ellenberger staggered a bloodied Sanchez with a right as the round ended.

Ellenberger took him down in the second, punishing him with elbows to the face.

Ellenberger jabbed away at Sanchez in the third and hurt him with a knee. But then the fight turned when Ellenberger put Sanchez on the ground again, only to lose position and find himself under Sanchez.

Sanchez pounded away and a bloody Ellenberger was getting the worst of it as the clock wound down. But he managed to get up as the fight ended.

"Was that enough of a dogfight for you?" Sanchez asked the crowd after the decision.

Sanchez also said after the fight he had injured his ankle during training.

Ellenberger, a native of Omaha who now trains out of California, had his twin brother Joe in his corner. Joe Ellenberger is also a fighter, despite dealing with a rare bone marrow disease.

Sanchez, a winner of Season 1 of "The Ultimate Fighter" who has admitted paying the price for his early fame and fortune when it came to lifestyle, came out to the cage holding a cross in the air.

On the undercard at Omaha Civic Auditorium, Montreal bantamweight Ivan (Pride of El Salvador) Menjivar choked out John (Prince) Albert at 3:45 of the first round of an all-action fight.

Menjivar (24-8) found himself fighting off submissions when he ended up on top of the prickly Albert, who had hurt the Canadian at the fence with kicks and knees that left a knot on Menjivar's forehead.

But the 29-year-old Menjivar weathered the storm and took Albert's back, softening him up with punches before locking in a rear naked choke. It was his third straight win in the UFC.

"Awesome!!!!" tweeted UFC president Dana White.

The 25-year-old Albert (7-1) appeared on Season 13 of "The Ultimate Fighter."

"He's strong ... he's dangerous," said Menjivar, a father of two who took time out to thank all parents in his post-fight interview. …

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