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UFC on FUEL Aftermath Pt. 1: The Last Exorcism

(The power of YES!! compels you! Check out some of the meme-worthy photoshops over at The UG.) 

Over the past week or so, the sports world has come down with a serious case of LINsanity. Though it was the general consensus that this mind altering sickness originated with the uncanny rise of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, last night’s inaugural UFC on FUEL event opened our collective eyes to the virus’ true host: Diego fucking Sanchez.

Yes, it seems that ever since Diego suffered his first professional losses, which came in back-to-back fashion at the hands of Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch at UFC 69 and 76, the man has become consumed by a mixture of evangelical optimism and bipolar rage to the point of parody. As he made his way to the octagon for his main event clash with top contender Jake Ellenberger last night, it quickly became apparent that it was Sanchez who was in need of an exorcism, which made the Gregorian monk feel of his entrance appear all the more ironic.

And for the first two and a half rounds, it looked like Sanchez’s mental state was really starting to have an adverse effect on his physical abilities. As in his fights with Martin Kampmann, B.J. Penn, and John Hathaway, Sanchez seemed content to charge head first into the quicker, more accurate punches of “Ingleburger,” getting rocked on more than one occasion as a result. Perhaps that is how sociopaths set up their takedowns, or perhaps he simply didn’t give a shit, because despite getting significantly outgunned on both the feet and the ground, Sanchez all but refused to alter his gameplan in the slightest. Due to the fact that Sanchez’s striking has not evolved to the level of his counterparts, we can expect to see a lot more of this in his future. No one will ever doubt “The Dream’s” chin, because that is the only thing about Sanchez that seems stable at this point in his career. However, when Sanchez managed to get Ellenberger’s back late in the third, we were treated to some vintage “Nightmare” ground-and-pound. This is, and has always been where the former lightweight title challenger thrives, and when he gets ANYONE on their back, they best prepare for a hellstorm of punches that can only be described as suffocating. If only he would do it more often.

The one thing I came away with from the Sanchez/Ellenberger scrap is that the UFC needs to decide on whether main event fights will be scheduled for three or five rounds, rather than catering this criteria to each event. If there had been two more rounds last night, Sanchez’s cardio could have very easily changed the outcome of the fight, as it was evident that Ellenberger was beginning to fade. It’s time to make the five round main event a standard, Dana, because if Munoz/Leben warranted it, how in the hell didn’t this fight?

As for Ellenberger, it seems that he is destined for either a rematch with Carlos Condit, depending on how long GSP will be out, or a possible match with the Koscheck/Hendricks winner to determine the true number one contender of the welterweight division. Our vote is for the former. His loss to Condit was both hotly contested and his only UFC loss to date, and after taking down two former title challengers in a row (granted, in different weight classes) he has clearly set himself apart from the rest of the pack, and deserves another crack at “The Natural Born Killer.”

In the night’s co-main event, Stefan Struve managed to utilize his superior ground game to finish off Dave Herman with strikes from the mount after dropping him in the second round. While undoubtedly a big win for Struve, the fight showed that his striking game, like Sanchez’s, is still a work in progress. The man stands at 6’11”, and despite this, has shown time and time again that he cannot keep his shorter opponents at bay. If GSP can use a jab to pick apart whoever he damn well pleases, then no one should be able to get within swinging distance of a “Skyscraper” like Struve, yet men as short as Roy Nelson have managed to find his off button as a result of his inability to maintain distance. If he ever wants to fight top of the division guys, he better learn to stick that jab, or suffer the consequences. Herman, on the other hand, might want to start buying into this whole “Jiu-Jitsu” thing, because his mount defense, which could only be described as “unorthodox” by announcer Kenny Florian, appeared to have been taught to him by Art Jimmerson.

Join us for part two this afternoon, in which we break down the rest of UFC on FUEL’s main card and a couple fights from the undercard as well.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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Homeowner University- February 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm
I'm waiting for Diego's post fight career as a Televangelist. Exorcisms on every episode and regular readings from the book of YUS.
fatbellyfrank- February 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm
Sanchez looks like he wore his Undertaker costume to the fight
JudgeHolden- February 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm
I mean, is Ellenberger really that great of a striker, is Sanchez just extremely un-technical?

My CAPTCHA has the word "ORIFICES" in it.
JudgeHolden- February 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm
What I'm about to say supports the notion that MMA fans have a "What have you done for me lately?"-attitude when it comes to fighters, but Sanchez's performance last night made me wonder how he had ever been among the UFC's elite.

I've probably seen all of his UFC fights, and while he is extremely tough, has excellent top-game BBJ, and always shows up with amazing cardio, his wrestling skills seem less and less impressive against the upper-crust welterweights, and his striking looks terrible. He seems like an increasingly one-dimensional fighter who overcompensates for his lack of technical stand-up with sheer intensity, pace, and aggression.

How did he win against Kampmann, again? Poor judging?
The12ozCurls- February 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm
^^^^^^^^LOL^^^^^^^^^ - I agree - But if it wasn't me hijacking - it was gonna be you ArmFarmer.
ArmFarmer- February 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm
Way to hijack the thread for some pointless off topic discussion guys.. now lets get back on track, who else is mad about the new ufc game??
El Guapo- February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm
I hope she's not dead-DEAD dead or movie dead- but either way my Love Boat has already set sail. Kelly Kapowski, playa. (Barry White voice)Ahhhhh yeeeahhhhhh..
CrushCo- February 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm
@El Guapo: There's still time, right? Or is she dead too?
The12ozCurls- February 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm
First off Me likey - It was Lost Boys 2 - a sequal - not a remake. LOL. 2nd off if you don't get the original pun than the O&E show may be more suitable. Just kidding Me likey, I love you. And the ginger El Guapo is talking about is now doing porno in the San Fernando Valley. Truthfully, Kerri Green hasn't done much for years, probably had kids and got really realy fat.
Walrus- February 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Brian Stann is a quality commentator. Far better than Jon Jones.
El Guapo- February 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Whatever happened to that redhead from "Lucas"? Think she was in "The Goonies" as well. Had a crush on her growing up. Always hoped she'd de-virginize me(sigh)..
Me likey- February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm
The12ozCurls---I heard that Corey Haim in not going to appear in the "Lost Boys" remake because he is busy filming a sequal to "Lucas." how is that in any way a joke? besides, he was in the lost boys remake.
The12ozCurls- February 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm
@ ME LIKEY -- I know he is dead you fool -- that was the god damn joke. I just couldn't figure out if I was gonna use the sequal to "Dream a Little Dream" or "Prayer for the Rollerboys" -- I couldn't decide so I went with "Lucas" ----- Notice this isn't pointed at El Guapo - he got the joke - and went with the "dead in the dogpile" line -LOL - But if Lucas did die in the dogpile there would not have been the great SLOW-CLAP scene at the end.
Me likey- February 16, 2012 at 11:55 am
el guapo beat me to it. maybe if i didn't have to get a scientific calculator to figure out my captcha i wouldn't be repeating people.
Me likey- February 16, 2012 at 11:53 am
if corey haim appears in anymore movies it will have to be the walking dead or rise of the living dead since he is dead.
RSparrow- February 16, 2012 at 11:52 am
"Look at this thing! It's gonna have absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of this fight"
El Guapo- February 16, 2012 at 11:51 am
^Trying to fill the Xeno void, I see. Lucas is dead, buddy. He got crushed in the dogpile.
The12ozCurls- February 16, 2012 at 11:44 am
I heard that Corey Haim in not going to appear in the "Lost Boys" remake because he is busy filming a sequal to "Lucas."
ArmFarmer- February 16, 2012 at 11:43 am
Of course I won
El Guapo- February 16, 2012 at 10:40 am
That pciture is classic! Looks like Diego's auditioning for the "Lost Boys" remake.
RSparrow- February 16, 2012 at 10:29 am
More, more ArmFarmer! Did you win!? OMG, you better have..
ArmFarmer- February 16, 2012 at 10:18 am
As if the long waiting wasn't enough, I fought some scrub with a made up character that was introduced (because he woudln't allow the long drawn out intros to be skipped) as a former pride dual weight class champion, a former ufc champion, bla bla bla... and my intro as shogun was about 1/5 as long and didn't even mention his run in pride... wtf
ArmFarmer- February 16, 2012 at 10:16 am
Off topic but is anyone else irritated that the new ufc game requires both players to hit x SEVEN times between each fight? Not only that, but if the other player doesn't press x at any of those 7 points, you can't progress and have to sit through a massive amount of boring shit??? They fucked that game up big time, imo.
HandsofGold- February 16, 2012 at 10:10 am

Half of a round.

Although I believe Hendricks is going to smash on Kosh.
bootystar- February 16, 2012 at 10:05 am
I'm masurbating while watching this