Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
This is where the fun begins.
Johny Hendricks (14-1) did not get the title shot, but instead gets to face the ever-dangerous Jake Ellenberger (28-6) in a welterweight clash. If Hendricks wins he is without question the next in line for a title shot. Ellenberger will try to stop that from happening.
Mike Pierce, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann are all victims of Hendricks. Consecutively.
Ellenberger looked fine against Jay Hieron, but it is the fights with Kampmann and Sanchez that have you questioning his chances against Hendricks. Sanchez was coming on late in the fight and seemed to be the better fighter at the end of three, and Kampmann found the off switch.
Hendricks is the better wrestler and has his vicious power to help in the striking department. Ellenberger's options to win are slim. Hendricks is going to make a statement and claim his title shot.
Prediction: Hendricks defeats Ellenberger by KO in the second round.