Sanchez not deserving of Ellenberger
By Brian Holmes
I'm just going to jump right in to it with this article.
This is a match up that made me ask, what was Joe Silva thinking?
Diego Sanchez has long been in the upper echelon of the UFC and that is without question but with his recent performances I don't think this is the right fight to happen.
In my opinion though, Ellenberger is only a couple fights away from a title shot (maybe more with GSP being injured), while Sanchez seems to be in almost a decline as of late
Ellenberger has only lost one fight in his UFC career, which was a controversial decision to current interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. He is one of only two men to lose to Condit and not be finished. He is also currently on a five fight win streak with four of them coming by way of KO/TKO.
Sanchez has won two out of his last four fights and his last bout with Martin Kampmann was very controversial and most people had Kampmann winning the fight two rounds to one.
This fight will help Ellenberger get towards the top of the division if he wins but I would rather see him go against a different opponent.
A more fitting match up would be against Jon Fitch, or against another fighter getting close to a welterweight title shot Johny Hendricks.
Ellenberger hasn't been finished in four years and that was the only time he has been finished in his career. While having twenty six wins and only four of them coming by decision, he boasts a very good finishing percentage.
Sanchez on the other hand seems to be a shadow of his former self who went 17-0 before being derailed by Josh Koscheck and has had mixed success since then. He also hasn't fought in almost a year due to a hand injury would could affect him as it is the longest lay off of his career.
Sanchez seems a lot more humble about this fight then some of his other bouts that come to mind, stating that Ellenberger is the most dangerous guy in the division, Ellenberger seems a lot more cocky (or confident depends on your perception) saying that can beat Sanchez wherever this fight goes.
While I give a definite edge to Sanchez in submissions and cardio, striking and wrestling have to go to Ellenberger. The edge in cardio might not necessarily be that much of a factor cause Ellenberger seems to get better every time we see him and i'm sure that he is constantly working on his cardio.
The only X-factor in this fight is that it is in Ellenberger's hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Sanchez should handle this very well due to his confidence, and I don't think that the crowd will be able to add any pressure that he won't be able to deal with. Ellenberger is a different story, I don't know if the added pressure of fighting in front of his home town will help or hinder him.
Will Sanchez break out of his current "funk" that he has been having, or will Ellenberger continue his rise towards the top?
Only time will tell, so for now I will shut my mouth and let the fighters decide what happens.