UFC on Fuel TV Preview

The UFC is continuing to power forward with event after event and this week they will host an event on a Wednesday for the first time. With the new deal with Fox the UFC has seen more fights than at this point last year. They have continued to put on their usual pay per view fights once a month, sometimes twice a month, but have increased their amount of free fights. These free fights have been entertaining though as they rarely feature a title fight but almost always feature fights that will have an impact on the weight class. With these increased free fights the UFC has begun their agreement with Fox and will be featured on the third and final network with a full fight card. Fuel TV has featured much of the prelims for UFC but this Wednesday will be the first time the network features a full main card for the UFC. As with the rest of the free fights, UFC on Fuel TV will feature another important fight. This time it will be a key welterweight matchup between Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger. Both fighters are coming off of wins and are working their way up to the welterweight division to the crowded challenger position. Diego Sanchez is trying to do this for the second time in his UFC career as he has had a rocky road back to the welterweight division. After winning season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter Sanchez became a force in the UFC welterweight division going 5-0 after entering the UFC. Then he began to slow down losing two fights in a row and ending his climb up the welterweight ladder. After his losses Sanchez moved to lightweight and began dominating again until facing BJ Penn for the title and losing to the champion. Since the loss Sanchez has decided to enter the welterweight division again and has gotten out to a good start in his original weight class beating Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampann. He will be making his return to the octagon after almost a year off because of a broken hand. His matchup will not be an easy though as he will take on Jake Ellenberger who has been making an impact in the welterweight division since entering the UFC. Ellenberger had a long and dominant career outside of the UFC and did not want to enter the biggest promotion until he could be a contender. In 2009 Ellenberger believed he was ready and would be tested in his first UFC fight again Carlos Condit. He held his own but lost a controversial Split Decision and although he lost he had announced his arrival in the welterweight division. Since his first fight Ellenberger has won five fights in a row including fights against Mike Pyle and Jake Shields. He is looking to build on this five fight win streak to the top of the division and join the top contenders for a chance at the title. Diego will be in his way as both fighters are looking for the same thing and both are similar fighters with some differences. Sanchez is a great Jiu Jitsu practitioner that loves to wrestle but his biggest asset is his almost unstoppable will. Sanchez has been known for his willingness to come forward at any cost and even though he does this he remains hard to knockout or stop. He has yet to be stopped in the UFC besides one TKO due to a doctor’s stoppage that would have continued if it was up to Sanchez. Testing this will is Ellenberger who is known for his great hands and stone chin making a slugfest exactly his type of fight. He also adds a good Jiu Jitsu game to his standup making him a very well-rounded fighter. This fight could very well end up being a brawl as both fighters are not opposed to standing and trading. Diego Sanchez has been a bit of a changed fighter though and could very well try to turn the fight into a wrestling match. It seems more likely that Diego could fall into the old ways and try to fight Ellenberger in a brawl. If this does happen Ellenberger will have the upper hand and will win the fight. With both fighters willing to stand and trade the fight will likely be a Unanimous Decision win for Jake Ellenberger who will continue his climb to the top of the welterweight ladder.

Before the welterweights face off two heavyweights will take their turn in the octagon as Stefan Struve and Dave Herman look to climb up their weight class. Stefan Struve is the tallest fighter in the UFC standing at 6’11” and has used this to his advantage throughout his young career. Struve took the division by storm in 2009 when he won three fights in a row and seemed to be on the fast track to the heavyweight division title shot. Then he ran into some issues losing to Roy Nelson and Travis Browne in 2010 and 2011. In between those fights Struve was able to win two in a row but against two fighters that were not at the top of the division. Struve has had some trouble when he gets to the top of the heavyweight division as he has not been able to crack through to the elite heavyweights. He will try to take another step towards a new level of competition when he takes on Dave Herman this Wednesday. Herman will be looking to take out Struve and create his own path towards the elite in the heavyweight division. Herman will enter his second UFC fight against Struve after opening his UFC career with a KO win over John Olav Einemo last June. He will be looking to build on his early success by beating Stefan Struve and moving further up in the heavyweight division. Both fighters have the ability to earn a KO but are comfortable on the ground as well. Struve prefers to stand and kickbox using his long reach to keep opponents out of range but he will also use those long limbs on the ground by submitting his opponents. Herman is a wrestler that has power to earn a KO like he showed in his first fight but he may be looking to get the fight on the ground. With another fight on the Fox networks there are two important fights as the welterweight and heavyweight divisions showcase some of their best up and coming talent when the UFC starts on Fuel TV.

 

Fight Card:

 

Main Card:

Diego “The Dream” Sanchez vs. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

 

Main Card:

Stefan “The Skyscraper” Struve vs. Dave Herman (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

 

Aaron “A-Train” Simpson vs. Ronny Markes (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

 

Stipe Miocic vs. Phil de Fries (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

 

TJ Dillashaw vs. Walel “The Gazelle” Watson (Fuel TV/Sportsnet)

 

Undercard:

Ivan Menjivar vs. John “Prince” Albert (Facebook)

 

Jonathan Brookins vs. Vagner “Ceara” Rocha (Facebook)

 

Buddy Roberts vs. Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler (Facebook)

 

Anton Kuivanen vs. Justin “J-Bomb” Salas (Facebook)

 

Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means vs. Bernardo “Trekko” Magalhaes (Facebook)

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