Jake Ellenberger crushed Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night 25. | File Photo: Sherdog.com
One well-placed knee was all Jake Ellenberger needed to bring down Jake Shields.
Ellenberger (25-5, 5-1 UFC) cracked the former Strikeforce middleweight champion with a ringing right knee from the clinch and swarmed on him with a series of brutal left hands for the finish in the UFC Fight Night 25 headliner on Saturday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. It was over in less than a minute -- 53 seconds to be exact.
“I can’t explain how I feel right now,” said Ellenberger, now clearly established as one of the world’s premier welterweights. “I gotta thank my team, my coaches. I’m surrounded by amazing people.”
Shields (26-6-1, 1-2 UFC) was never a factor in the fight, as Ellenberger shrugged off an attempted takedown and went to work. He snatched the Thai plum, landed a knee to the midsection and then delivered the knee to the head that sent Shields to all fours. Left hands landed with blinding speed, as Ellenberger did not afford Shields the chance to recover. It was the first time in more than 11 years that the Cesar Gracie protégé had been finished.
“I was still trying to fight,” Shields said. “He did hit me good. The referee thought it was time to stop it.”
McGee Decisions Yang, Wins Eighth Straight
Supreme cardiovascular conditioning carried “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 winner Court McGee to his eighth consecutive victory, as he defeated Korean Top Team representative Dongi Yang by unanimous decision in the co-main event. All three judges scored it for McGee (14-1, 3-0 UFC): 30-27, 29-28 and 30-28.
McGee was the aggressor throughout the middleweight matchup, as he backed up the South Korean with straight punches and the occasional right hook. Yang (10-2, 1-2 UFC) rattled the Layton, Utah, native with a left hook in the third round and followed up with a flying knee, but McGee’s indomitable spirit took over.
McGee turned to takedowns against the fading Sengoku Raiden Championship veteran, scoring two of them inside the final 70 seconds. He moved to mount with time winding down, locked up a tight guillotine choke from the top and nearly finished it. In visible distress, Yang did not tap. Only the bell saved him.
Koch Outlasts TUF 12 Winner Brookins
Once-beaten prospect Erik Koch survived a grueling clinch-laden encounter with “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins, as he leaned heavily on his superior striking en route to a unanimous decision in a featured featherweight fight. Koch (13-1, 2-0 UFC) swept the scorecards: 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27.
Brookins (12-4, 1-1 UFC) engaged in a smart tactical fight, as he forced Koch into numerous tie-ups and short-circuited his standup through vast stretches of the match. Koch, however, maintained a standing base, made Brookins work for the positions he secured against the cage and unleashed crisp combinations when the two separated. Jabs, low kicks and straight lefts were his most trusted weapons, as the 22-year-old Roufusport product posted his fourth win in as many appearances.
Belcher Overwhelms MacDonald for TKO
In his first appearance since undergoing two surgeries for a detached retina more than a year ago, Alan Belcher stopped well-traveled Canadian veteran Jason MacDonald with first-round ground-and-pound in a middleweight showcase. MacDonald (25-15, 5-7 UFC) met his end 3:48 into round one.
Belcher (17-6, 8-4 UFC) pressed MacDonald into a clinch against the cage and stuffed repeated takedown attempts, forcing his foe to pull guard in a desperate attempt to move the fight to the mat. Once there, Belcher compromised the MacDonald defense with heavy punches and elbows from top position, the impact of the strikes increasing with each volley. MacDonald tried unsuccessfully to cover up and ultimately turned away from the blows, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to intervene on his behalf.
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