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Ellenberger picks up points decision over Sanchez

ESPN staff
February 16, 2012 « Schaub predicts Mir would defeat Velasquez | Chartbeat test »
Jake Ellenberger is emerging as a title challenger © Getty Images
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Jake Ellenberger strengthened his credentials as a welterweight title contender with a unanimous points decision over Diego Sanchez at UFC on Fuel on Wednesday.

The victory was Ellenberger's sixth consecutive, taking him to a 27-5 record and may boost his prospects of a showdown with interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. However, a late onslaught from Sanchez might just have done enough to taint the memory of an otherwise-excellent Ellenberger display.

The Juggernaut certainly started the more aggressive of the two fighters, landing solid blows in the opening round, dropping Sanchez at one point. With a 10-9 lead under his belt, Ellenberger then continued to attack in round two, throwing elbows to leave Sanchez's face bloodied.

However, he then appeared to damage his right hand, leaving him to throw jabs and elbows exclusively in the final stanza.

Sanchez responded, connecting with a stinging left punch that followed a kick to the body, leaving Ellenberger stumbling. The fight ended with Sanchez having taken his rival's back, flattening him out for a potential choke.

However, Sanchez's comeback fell agonisingly short as Ellenberger was rewarded for his early dominance with a 29-28 decision from all three judges. Reputation advanced, but perhaps not enough for that battle with Condit.

Earlier in the evening, Stipe Miocic won the battle of undefeated heavyweights as he defeated England's Philip De Fries. Miocic claimed the victory with a first-round KO after landing a series of heavy blows while De Fries lay prone inside the Octagon.

Stefan Struve battled his way past Dave Herman, collecting a second-round TKO en route to 23-5 win-loss record. After a cagey opening round, Struve showed his strength, knocking Herman to the floor twice before the referee stopped the fight.

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