Jake Ellenberger lost a split-decision to Carlos Condit in his UFC debut, a fight that some people thought he won. After surviving a couple tense minutes in the third round against Diego Sanchez on Wednesday night, Ellenberger might just get the opportunity to see the recently crowned interim welterweight champion again in the not-too-distant future.
By holding on to win a unanimous decision from Sanchez in the main event of UFC on Fuel 1 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., Ellenberger cemented his status as one of the top contenders in the 170-pound division. “The Juggernaut” displayed crisp and powerful counterstriking through two rounds before Sanchez staged a furious rally, taking the Nebraskan’s back and attacking with punches in the final frame.
Meanwhile, lanky heavyweight Stefan Struve improved to 7-3 in the Octagon with his second-round technical knockout of Dave Herman in the evening’s co-main event. Overall, the UFC’s main-card debut on Fuel offered a pleasing variety of mid-week violence that deserves closer examination. What follows is a by-the-numbers look at UFC on Fuel 1, with statistics provided courtesy of FightMetric.com.
33: Significant strikes by which Ellenberger (62 strikes) outlanded Sanchez (29) over the course of their three-round confrontation, the largest disparity of the Omaha native’s UFC career. Ellenberger’s previous best occurred when he outlanded John Howard by 21 significant strikes at UFC on Versus 2.
10: Difference in total significant strikes landed by Ellenberger on Wednesday night and his other two 15-minute Octagon appearances combined. While “The Juggernaut” connected on 62 significant strikes against Sanchez, he landed 25 in a split-decision triumph against Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126 and 28 in a split-decision defeat to Condit in 2009.
.250: Significant striking accuracy for Sanchez, who landed 29 of 114 significant strikes in defeat. The Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative connects at a 37 percent clip for his career.
45: Total strikes landed by Sanchez in round three, when he took Ellenberger’s back and unloaded during a furious final salvo. By comparison, “The Dream” landed just 18 total strikes combined in the bout’s first two rounds.
38: Significant strikes to the head landed by Ellenberger, who mounted his most successful offense on the feet. Meanwhile, Sanchez controlled the action on the ground with 35 total strikes. Only two of those were significant, however.
1: Takedown attempt by Sanchez, which Ellenberger stuffed. In his previous three fights at welterweight, the Albuquerque, N.M., native attempted a total of 31 takedowns, four of which were successful.
5: “Fight of the Night” bonuses received by Sanchez during his UFC career. Only twice in his last seven bouts -- in losses to John Hathaway and B.J. Penn -- has the “Ultimate Fighter 1” winner not received that honor.
3:37:57: Total fight time in hours, minutes and seconds for Sanchez, who moved past Chris Lytle for sixth place on the UFC’s all-time list in that category. Only B.J. Penn, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes have logged more Octagon time.
1: Third rounds Struve has seen in his 28 professional fights. The soon-to-be 24-year-old heavyweight beat Paul Buentello via majority decision at UFC 107. Most of the Dutchman’s fights (19) have ended in the opening frame.
0: Submissions attempted by Struve. Coming into his bout with Herman, the “Skyscraper’s” average of 5.05 submissions attempted per 15 minutes was tops in the promotion. After Wednesday, that figure dropped to 4.33 per 15 minutes, third in the UFC behind Joe Lauzon and Charles Oliveira.
37: Significant strikes landed by Herman in the opening frame, compared to 16 for Struve. The Team Schrijber product reversed things in round two, outlanding Herman 31 to 14.
51: Total strikes landed in the clinch and on the ground by Aaron Simpson in his split-decision loss to Ronny Markes, who connected 42 times in those same areas. On the feet, the Brazilian outstruck the former Arizona State University wrestling standout 36 to 24.
5: Stuffed takedowns in five attempts for Markes, who was making his middleweight debut after previously competing at 205 pounds. It is the only time in Simpson’s UFC career that he has failed to secure a takedown in a fight where he attempted at least one.
154: Total strikes landed by T.J. Dillashaw in his lopsided decision win over Walel Watson. The Team Alpha Male representative outlanded Watson 85 to 11 in significant strikes (154 to 19 overall) while constantly looking to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke. Dillashaw was at his most dominant in round two, landing 94 strikes to his opponent’s two.
2: Fights in UFC history with the scores 30-25, 30-25, 30-26 following Dillashaw’s win over Watson. The first came at UFC 141, when Jimy Hettes defeated Nam Phan by the same score.
56: Combined significant strikes by Ivan Menvijar and John Albert in their fast-and-furious bantamweight scrap, which Menvijar won via rear-naked choke at the 3:45 mark. It was the most prolific fight of the nine on the evening’s card in terms of significant strikes landed in a single round.
4,684: Approximate distance in miles from Helsinki, Finland, to Omaha, Neb. It turned out to be somewhat of a disappointing trip for Anton Kuivanen, the only Finnish fighter currently in the UFC. Kuivanen lost a unanimous decision to Justin Salas in a lightweight bout.