Jake Ellenberger picked up a massive win on Saturday night at UFC 201, taking Matt Brown out in the first round for just his second victory in a seven fight span. The win was even more important than many may have realized, as UFC President Dana White would explain afterward.
“He had to [win this fight]. We had cut him,” White said on the Fox Sports 1 post-show. “He came to Vegas and said, ‘don’t cut [me].’ He said he’d come out and deliver. We put him against Matt Brown and he delivered.”
The 31-year-old Ellenberger has been on the UFC’s welterweight roster for almost seven years, competing 17 times in that stretch. He’s fought many of the best fighters in the division throughout that stretch, and indeed his rough 1-5 run saw him get beat by the just-dethroned Robbie Lawler, last year’s title contender Rory MacDonald, and current top contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. With the win over Brown, he moves his overall UFC record to 10-7.
Penick’s Analysis: Ellenberger getting released after his January loss to Tarec Saffiedine would have certainly been justified off that 1-5 stretch, but good for him on getting a second chance and taking advantage of it. He showed he’s still got something left in him at this level, beating a top 10 opponent in Matt Brown soundly, and it’s bought him some more time in the Octagon.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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