(In case you’ve completely forgotten what he looks like, this is Jake Ellenberger.)
Immediately after Jake Shields notched an ugly decision win over Martin Kampmann at UFC 121, welterweight vet Jake Ellenberger logged onto Twitter and started posting short-message bombs directed at the former Strikeforce champ. Highlights included, "Jake Shields, you’re as exciting as watching a bowl of mash potatoes get cold…Your days are numbered" and "Jake Shields’ cardio won’t be a factor if he fights me next. I won’t keep him around long enough to get tired."
(As cheap as it is for Ellenberger to talk smack over Twitter — without even including ‘@jakeshieldsajj‘ in his posts so that Jake will actually see them — we have to commend him for being the first MMA fighter in Twitter history to understand the difference between "you’re" and "your." Okay, nerdy grammar rant over.)
Since Ellenberger is just 2-1 in the UFC with wins over fellow mid-packers Mike Pyle and John Howard, we didn’t think for a second that he’d get Jake Shields pulled from his impending title fight just on the strength of his eDisses. And he didn’t. Instead, Ellenberger got a fight against Jon Fitch.
According to MMA Junkie, Ellenberger will step into the Octagon against Jon Fitch at UFC 126 (February 5th, Las Vegas). Fitch, who most recently picked up his fifth-consecutive unanimous decision victory against Thiago Alves at UFC 117, previously suggested that he should get the winner of Shields vs. Kampmann; his request, like so many others before it, was denied. As for Ellenberger, his request for a top 5 opponent with a frustrating tendency to just grab and hang onto his opponents has been approved, even though he’s getting Fitch instead of Shields. Such is the power of Twitter. Though let’s be honest, the UFC was never going to book a co-headliner between two guys named "Jake."
Ellenberger is certainly a step down the ladder for Fitch, and I wonder if the UFC will continue to throw him guys outside of the top 10 until he manages to finish one of them. Since Ellenberger is a skilled wrestler who’s only been stopped once in 28 fights (a 2007 submission loss to Delson Heleno), it’s unlikely that this will be the fight that breaks Fitch’s streak…