Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez: UFC on Fuel TV Video Highlights
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Although it flew under the radar for the most part, the UFC's first main card on Fuel TV delivered a handful of exciting fights and may have produced the next top contender in the welterweight division.
The event featured a bout between 170-pound contenders Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger, who was competing in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Also, rising heavyweights Stefan Struve and Dave Herman squared off in a pivotal bout for both young fighters, while fellow up-and-coming big men Stipe Miocic and Philip De Fries met in a bout where both combatants hoped to remain undefeated inside the Octagon.
Without further delay, let's take a look at some video highlights from these and other main card bouts from UFC on Fuel TV.
Ivan Menjivar vs. John Albert
In a back-and-forth tussle, Ivan Menjivar secured one of the most exciting submissions in the early months of 2012 by recovering from being rocked, to finish John Albert.
Shortly before the submission, Albert rocked Menjivar with a head kick and looked to finish the fight with knees and punches on the ground.
However, Albert appeared to tire himself while trying to put Menjivar away. Still undefeated in the UFC, Menjivar took advantage of Albert's exhaustion by turning the tables and taking his opponent's back.
From there, Menjivar locked up a rear-naked choke and earned his third straight win.
Stipe Miocic vs. Philip De Fries
In another one-round comeback victory, Stipe Miocic overcame a few early right hooks from Englishman Philip De Fries and finished the fight with a big right hand of his own.
De Fries came out firing at UFC on Fuel TV, landing heavy leather to the side of Miocic's skull in the opening seconds of the fight.
However, Miocic showed outstanding toughness by absorbing the punishment and answering with a straight right hand that landed right on the button.
De Fries staggered backwards and Miocic finished the fight with some ground and pound to remain undefeated for his MMA career.
Aaron Simpson vs. Ronny Markes
Promising middleweight Ronny Markes made his debut at 185 pounds against Aaron Simpson at UFC on Fuel TV. Though Markes walked away with a narrow decision win, he showed that he still has room for improvement.
In the opening round, Markes ate an uppercut from Simpson that left the Brazilian rocked and in survival mode for the remainder of the frame.
Despite the early scare, Markes rebounded in the following rounds and used his size to wear down an All-American wrestler in Simpson.
Stefan Struve vs. Dave Herman
Dave Herman started off strong in his fight against Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel TV, but Struve came back strong in the second round to record a technical knockout win.
Unable to make use of his reach advantage in the first round, Struve ate some big shots and had his leg chopped at by Herman.
However, Herman seemed to change his pace in the second round, allowing Struve to come forward and knock the Team Quest fighter down with an uppercut.
With the win, Struve has now won four of his past five fights; the promising 23-year-old heavyweight could finally be ready to compete against the division's contenders.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez
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.