Ellenberger has been tremendously successful since joining the UFC roster, but suffered a recent setback when he was stopped (perhaps prematurely) by Martin Kampmann back in June.
With another win under his belt, Ellenberger is back on the right side of title contention. Unfortunately, with champion Georges St-Pierre having his next few fights lined up, most of the top-ranked fighters at 170 pounds are busy.
Ellenberger boasts wins over the likes of Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez, and it's important to keep this top-ranked welterweight busy with a quality opponent while the title picture clears up.
Here is a look at five fights for Jake Ellenberger to take next.
Josh Koscheck was the original opponent for Jake Ellenberger at UFC 151. When Koscheck fell out due to injury, Hieron was tapped as a replacement.
With Koscheck ready to return in the coming months and Ellenberger sitting just above him in the divisional rankings, it makes sense to book this fight once again.
There is a lot of debate as to whether or not longtime contender Jon Fitch will be able to get past the incredible hype train of Erick Silva.
Silva is the top welterweight prospect that Brazil has seen since Thiago Alves. Some feel that he will absolutely steamroll Fitch, while others think that the wrestling-centric attack of Fitch will be too much for the youngster.
Regardless of who comes out on top, he will be in the division's Top 10, coming off a win and not already trapped in the logjam that is the title picture. That combination of attributes is rare at this point in time, which makes the winner the perfect candidate to face Jake Ellenberger next.
The main card for UFC 153 has not only one, but two stellar bouts in the welterweight division. Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the evening is a wrestler vs. grappler battle between Rick Story and Demian Maia.
Maia is one of the most renowned jiu-jitsu practitioners in mixed martial arts, while Story was once considered to be a top contender for the welterweight title after scoring six consecutive wins.
Whoever comes out victorious will be looking for a high-level opponent in the January time frame. Assuming that Ellenberger came out of tonight's contest with no broken bones, he should be ready too.
Thiago Alves has lost four of his last six fights.
That doesn't seem right to me, and maybe that has something to do with the dominant performance that Alves put on against Martin Kampmann back in March. Unfortunately, Alves shot in for an inexplicable takedown with less than one minute left in the fight and was choked out by the Dane.
Alves is ready to bounce back and get back into title contention. With Ellenberger's No. 5 ranking within the division, he has a target on his back. There is little question that the Pitbull would like to sink his teeth into the Juggernaut.
Jake Ellenberger just avenged one of the only losses of his career. If he has to stay active while working to get back into the title picture, there are worse things that he could do than make up for past mistakes.
Ellenberger and Condit met in The Juggernauts promotional debut. Condit was awarded a split-decision victory that is still seen as controversial by many onlookers. A rematch would be an excellent use of both men's time.
This fight only makes sense assuming that Carlos Condit is unsuccessful against Georges St-Pierre. While I'm not counting out the Natural Born Killer, oddsmakers give him a 21 percent chance of success.