In the first UFC main event on Fuel TV, Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez entertained fans and earned Fight of the Night honors for their three-round battle for a potential shot at interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit.
The early stages of the fight saw Ellenberger besting Sanchez in the striking department, landing powerful counter-punches as the former TUF winner blitzed forward. At one point in the first round, Ellenberger dropped his foe with a left hand, but Sanchez was able to recover and avoid being finished for the first time in a three-round fight.
In a much closer second round, Ellenberger gained an edge on the scorecards with a late takedown and damaging elbows as the stanza came to an end.
Realizing he needed to make something happen to get back into the fight, Sanchez came out strong in the third. As Sanchez started heating up, Ellenberger used his wrestling to take the fight to the ground, but the rising contender was quickly reversed and began eating big shots.
Though Sanchez worked diligently to earn a stoppage victory in the third round, time ran out and Ellenberger was awarded the decision victory that could put him in line for a title shot—and rematch—with Condit.
Sean Smith is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA, you can follow Sean on Twitter @SeanSmithMMA.