Few believed that the king of fight-night bonuses Chris Lytle would find himself bested by a late replacement journeyman like Brian Ebersole, but that is precisely what happened in the UFC 127 contest.
Ebersole would repeat his success with big wins over Dennis Hallman, Claude Patrick and TJ Waldburger to start out his UFC career at 4-0.
The choice of opponent seemed to be underwhelming, and there was only 29 days between UFC 149 and Ebersole's hard-fought victory at UFC on FX 4. However, that didn't stop the fearless practitioner of the cartwheel kick.
Perhaps it should have. In the main-card contest, Ebersole's wrestling was telegraphed and he looked flat-footed. In fact, Head was able to easily defend 14 of Ebersole's 15 takedown attempts throughout the battle en route to a split decision victory.
With a proper training camp, it is unlikely that a veteran like Ebersole would have faired so poorly in the contest. In fact, the one time that "Bad Boy" got the ground control that he desired, Head ate some ground and pound that made him very uncomfortable. Imagine how the fight would have looked if he had focused on wrestling for a full fight camp.
While Chris Leben's amazing win over Yoshihiro Akiyama shows us the best possible outcome of taking a fight on short notice, the risks truly outweigh the rewards. With the loss, Ebersole blew an 11-fight winning streak that would have seen his status in the organization elevate tremendously.
This loss won't completely send the Indiana native back to the drawing board. Post-fight, Ebersole had an exchange with Joe Rogan where he indicated that he will be dropping down to 155 pounds. With many excellent fighters in need of a quality opponent, there are lots of places for Ebersole to go from here. It's just a shame that he won't be taking his incredible momentum with him.