Once billed as the co-main event of a major Pay-Per-View, the cancellation of UFC 151 turned a rematch between Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron into a fight for free TV.
On FX, the two welterweights hoped to make separate statements. Ellenberger wants to prove to the world that he is still an elite welterweight, and that his setback against Martin Kampmann was a fluke. Hieron, on the other hand, simply wants to prove that he is better than his current 0-2 record inside the Octagon.
What we'll remember about this fight
As opposed to the Jake Ellenberger style that fans are used to, there weren't many highlights in this fight. Hieron stayed busy and Ellenberger was content looking for good opportunities, but he never truly let it all hang out.
What we learned about Jake Ellenberger
That he has learned to stay patient and control his breathing. Cardiovascular conditioning has been a danger zone for "The Juggernaut" in the past, but with a new gameplan, he had no trouble going the full 15 minutes.
What we learned about Jay Hieron
That he didn't just want to win. He wanted to knock Jake Ellenberger out. Mixing low kicks with head kicks, and tossing in the occasional spinning back fist for good measure, it was clear that Hieron wanted to earn a stoppage from his standup.
What's next for Jake Ellenberger
Stay tuned for an article from me that will highlight several of Ellenberger's options for his next fight, but he should definitely square off with a member of the division's Top 10. Josh Koscheck was his original opponent for UFC 151, and I think that is the best fight to make at this time.
What's next for Jay Hieron
Hieron undoubtedly proved that he is worthy of a UFC contract, despite his now 0-3 record inside the Octagon. Providing him with a quality opponent won't be difficult as the welterweight division is absolutely stacked. I think Aaron Simpson would be a challenge, and is roughly on the same rung of the divisional ladder.