Chael Sonnen: Jake Ellenberger Should Be Fighting GSP Instead of Johny Hendricks

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IMarch 22, 2013

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Jake Ellenberger (red) celebrates after defeating Nate Marquardt (blue) in their main card bout at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Upcoming UFC light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen is known for having a unique perspective on things, and his perspective of the current welterweight title scene is no different. 

Speaking from his TV job as an analyst for FUEL TV at the post-UFC 158 show, "The American Gangster" expressed his belief that Jake Ellenberger, not Johny Hendricks, should be the next challenger to Georges St-Pierre's welterweight title (transcription via Yahoo! Sports). 

"I will see your power of Johny Hendricks, and I will raise you three extra knockouts in the first round by Jake Ellenberger," Sonnen said. "And yes, Hendricks has been on fire, but he has not done the work that Ellenberger has done, and he has not beat the guys that Ellenberger's beat ... He is fantastic. I will not take a thing away from Johny Hendricks, but to overlook 'The Juggernaut,' who's been in there against top contenders in Carlos Condit, in Jake Shields, in Nate Marquardt, all who've fought for titles, to dismiss him is inappropriate."

While Ellenberger is ranked number four in the UFC's official rankings and is the winner of eight of his past nine fights, he has lost against all three opponents he has in common with Hendricks. 

Ellenberger has lost a split decision to Condit, while "Big Rig" owns a split decision victory over "The Natural Born Killer."

Additionally, Hendricks scored a quick knockout over Martin Kampmann at UFC 154 in November, while Ellenberger suffered a heartbreaking, come-from-behind knockout at the hands of "The Hitman" at "The Ultimate Fighter" season 15 finale in June.

The only other common opponent between the heavy-handed wrestlers is Rick Story, who defeated both competitors via unanimous decision in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

Also worth noting is Ellenberger has 18 wins via knockout in 29 career victories, while Hendricks has eight knockouts stoppages in 15 career wins.

Ellenberger himself stated after his UFC 158 knockout of Nate Marquardt, the "Knockout of the Night," that he feels he is one win away from a title shot.

Furthermore, UFC President Dana White announced after the event that after winning six fights in a row, Hendricks had finally earned the next title shot against St-Pierre. 

Hendricks was scheduled to fight Ellenberger at UFC 158 while Condit was set to face Rory MacDonald, but those plans were changed when "Ares" suffered a neck/back injury about a month prior to the event.