Before UFC 127, Brian Ebersole was a relative unknown for many MMA fans. However, Ebersole's upset of Chris Lytle has given him instant name recognition and a surprising place among the contenders of the welterweight division.
With more than 60 professional fights, Ebersole's experience allowed him to remain calm as he defended numerous guillotine chokes by Lytle. Additionally, Ebersole used a very unorthodox striking attack that seemed to confuse Lytle.
Not only has Ebersole competed in many fights, but he has fought against some of the best in the world. Over his career, Ebersole has gone to war with fighters like Hector Lombard, Stephan Bonnar and Kyle Noke. In July 2010, Ebersole even recorded a win over former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton.
As Ebersole was unsuccessful against most of the top-notch competition that he faced prior to Lytle and Newton, his doubters may chalk this win up as a possible fluke and poor decision making by his opponent. However, Ebersole's experience and unique style makes him a threat against any welterweight in the UFC.
The toughness and entertainment that Ebersole brought to his fight at UFC 127 could mean a long career with the UFC. Since Lytle was pegged as a contender heading into UFC 127, Ebersole could become a mainstay among the top fighters in the division.
Even if Ebersole never reaches top contender status, his grittiness and experience make him an excellent candidate for a long-term gatekeeper to the welterweight's elite. Regardless of what happens down the road, Ebersole earned his current status as a UFC contender through the perseverance he showed in smaller promotions and in his fight with Lytle.
Sean Smith is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA, you can follow Sean on Twitter @BR_Sean_Smith