Ellenberger scores upset vs. Shields
Ultimate Fight Nights tend to be nearly skippable events in the UFC lexicon because generally they tend to have two things: fighters on their way up or fighters on their way down. But in the case of Ultimate Fight Night 25, those who skipped it missed out on the best card of the last seven days.
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With a terrific undercard, the theme of the night was close fights. There were a lot of stoppages on the undercard and the ones that went the distance were close decisions. These weren’t the cream of the crop fighters in the UFC, as this was more of a one-fight card in terms of long term relevance, with Jake Shields facing Jake Lenneberger. But the one thing it did show was that there was plenty of up-and-coming talent in the lower weight divisions. And it was a night where “The Ultimate Fighter” alumni shined for differing reasons for the most part.
Justin Edwards started out the night with a tough 29-28 decision over prospect Jorge Lopez, Wanderlai Silva’s protégé. After another close fight with Mike Lullo losing a close decision to Robert Peralta, T.J Waldburger took apart newcomer Mike Stumpf with a triangle choke submission that was the result of some beautiful transition work from an armbar. Seth Baczynski continued success for "TUF" alums with a dismantling of fellow "TUF" alum Clay Harvison early in the second by rear naked choke and Ken Stone finished Donny Walker by the same move in the middle of the first round. Matt Riddle dropped a close decision to newcomer Lance Benoist and Shamar Bailey survived a three round dismantling by Evan Dunham. Cody McKenzie put up a strong effort but was submitted by Vagner Rocha.
Two "TUF" alumni made it onto the main card. Jonathan Brookins, the Season 12 winner, who lose a boring decision to Eric Koch and Court McGee took the same against Dongi Yang in a relatively boring fight for 2 and a half rounds that exploded for the final three minutes.
The big upset, and one that’ll have interesting consequences down the road, was Ellenberger stopping recent UFC title contender Shields in less than a minute. After going the distance with Georges St. Pierre, and taking rounds from him on multiple scorecards, Shields couldn’t get going with his takedown game. Ellenberger’s knees proved to be the difference as a knee to the face took Shields out and punches were academic at that point.