When Jake Ellenberger knocked out Jake Shields in less than a minute last weekend at UFC Fight Night 25, it sent shockwaves through the welterweight division.
For so long the division has been dominated by names like Fitch, Koscheck, Shields and Alves and sitting at the top, Georges St-Pierre.
Ellenberger injected his name into the title race with a first round stoppage of a fighter that hasn’t been finished since his third professional fight in the sport. In that time, Shields had picked up wins over Dan Henderson, Carlos Condit and Yushin Okami, and while he came up short in his title bid, he was the first fighter in years to steal rounds from the champion GSP.
Now with Ellenberger securely sitting in the top five of the division, UFC President Dana White will be keeping an eye on him, especially after his eye opening performance over Shields.
“Beating Jake’s a big deal, that one put him on the map,” White said about Ellenberger.
While White didn’t go as far as putting an asterisk next to Ellenberger’s victory, he did mention however that Shields was coming into the fight with a very heavy heart.
Jake lost his father Jack just three weeks prior to the fight in New Orleans, but White says he wants to take nothing away from Ellenberger who had a spectacular performance.
“He looked like a stud. It’s one of those situations where I don’t take anything away from him, cause he looked damn good, but Jake (Shields) just lost his father a couple weeks before that fight, which can’t be easy. I’m sure he was dealing with a lot of tough stuff, but Ellenberger looked good,” White said.
With the win not only did Ellenberger rocket up the top ten, he also becomes one of the few welterweights in the division who hasn’t already faced champion Georges St-Pierre.
The only other two top fighters that can claim that currently in the welterweight division are Carlos Condit, who St-Pierre faces next at UFC 137, and former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz.
Ellenberger can’t be far behind, and while White stopped short of naming him the No. 1 contender, he’s definitely put the welterweight division on notice.