Jake Shields Vs. Jake Ellenberger
Jake Shields is a favorite in this fight, and he probably deserves to be. However, no one should discredit Jake Ellenberger’s chances on winning.
Despite being 4-1 in the UFC (24-5 overall) Ellenberger is somehow underrated. His only loss came to current welterweight championship contender Carlos Condit, in a fight Ellenberger narrowly lost. In the fight vs. Condit Ellenberger, who came in on short notice, rocked Condit twice in the first round and landed 59% of his significant strikes. Condit came back to win as Ellenberger ran out of gas in the later rounds.
Ellenberger is a very effective wrestler. He lands on average (per 15 minutes) 4.17 take downs at a success rate of 74%. Defensively he defends 89% percent of take downs attempted against him.
Ellenberger’s hands have been improving in every fight. As mentioned he knocked Condit down twice, he also battered John Howard at UFC Live 1, and knocked out Sean Pierson at UFC 129 on 17 days notice.
Shields is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Fighting in multiple weight divisions for Strikeforce Shields racked up wins over names like Dan Henderson, Jason Miller, Robbie Lawler and Paul Daley. However, his UFC run has not been as impressive. Shields looked uninspired against Martin Kampman in his UFC debut, winning a narrow split decision.
Where Shields falters in his career is his take down defense. Shields only stops 36% of the take downs attempted against him. However where Shields has a big advantage is the submission game. Shields attempts 1.71 submissions per 15 minutes.
Ellenberger should be able to dictate where this fight takes place. If he feels like he can out strike Shields he can keep it standing. If it becomes dangerous on the feet he can try his luck with Shields on the ground.
For this reason I like Ellenberger in this fight. Look for him to out strike Shields on the feet and Shields to have no answer besides attempting to pull guard.
Prediction: Ellenberger by Decision.
Other Fighters to Watch:
Belcher makes a long awaited return to the cage after taking 16 months off due to eye problems. Belcher is above average in every facet of the game and his big advantages over his opponent, Jason McDonald, when it comes to size, strength and speed. Look for a successful return to the cage for Belcher assuming he doesn’t have any lasting vision troubles.
Dunham was once the hottest prospect in the division. With solid wrestling, above average striking (featuring crisp combos and great footwork) and great cardio Dunham found himself one or two fights from a championship fight. Then things went sour quickly. Dunham lost a razor thin decision to Sean Sherk (that many thought he won) and got knocked out by Melvin Guillard in highlight reel fashion. Look for Dunham to rebound as he outclasses the over matched Shamar Bailey in every aspect imaginable.
Riddle has grow up in the octagon. In fact all of his seven professional fights (5-2) have come in the UFC cage. Riddle’s wrestling ability makes him a threat to any opponent and help him maintain prospect status. Expect him to win an unremarkable decision.
Lopez (11-1) a Wand fight team member, is making his UFC debut. Expect him to show of his striking as he a fighter that Wanderlei Silva thinks very highly of.
About the Author
Written by Jason Comack
Jason Comack graduated from Oswego State University. You can hear Jason on 88.1 FM (streaming as well on WCWPSports.org) every Monday and Thursday at 6 PM. Jason covers MMA as well as the New York Giants for Pro Sports Blogging. Follow him on Twitter @J_Comack