The Welterweight division is a sea of primordial chaos right now after Johny Hendricks won the belt. Thank you, Johny, for putting that gigantic bulls-eye on your back and saying “Come at me, bro.” While that is in no way a direct quote, I think it serves its purpose for what is going on in the division. Everyone wants a shot at the new champ, and since Robbie Lawler just fell short of getting the belt, the UFC saw it fit to throw him against the dark horse of the title race, Jake Ellenberger. Ellenberger was pretty much left for dead when he put on a snoozer against Rory MacDonald and little has been said of him since. It was his big chance to campaign for a title shot, and he blew it — simple as that. Now he gets a chance at redemption.
Unfortunately for Ellenberger, that shot for redemption is coming against a killer. Lawler has skyrocketed in popularity and what would seem to be overall fighting ability. He gave Hendricks all he could handle for five rounds; although he came up short, I think Lawler finally believes that he is one of the best fighters in the world and is ready to stake his claim as one. Ellenberger has an amazing opportunity at his feet, and if he wants to get that coveted title shot he needs to put on the best performance of his career.
Can Ellenberger do it? I don’t think so, but he can definitely make the fight exciting; and for now that is good enough. Ellenberger is still really young and has plenty of miles left in his career. Ellenberger should, at the very least, try to prove to the world that he deserves exciting fights. I know that sounds horrible, but he should prepare for the worst as I just don’t really see him winning this fight. Ellenberger has a heck of a future in fighting, but he took a fight against a demon. Best of luck, kid; you’re going to need it.