Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger are slated to square off at UFC on Fuel TV 1 on February 15th. They highlight a card that doesn’t have a lot of star power, but mark my words; these are the cards that often provide the most fireworks. Plus it’s free, can’t beat that. All you have to pay for is pizza and a six pack and you gave yourself a post-valentine day celebration.
Diego Sanchez enters with a two fight winning streak as well as a two fight, fight of the night streak as well. He has been solid in the welterweight division since moving up after his title fight defeat at the hands of BJ Penn. A win over Jake Ellenberger should put him in the title mix for again, this time for the welterweight belt.
Jake Ellenberger seemed to explode onto the scene, but he’s been working his way to a title shot for quite some time. Ellenberger is riding a 5 fight winning streak including a 53 second dismantling of former Strikeforce champion and UFC number one contender, Jake Shields. With a resounding victory in that fight and a win versus Sanchez, he would be on a very short list for a championship shot.
Although both men are deserving of title shots in victory (and you can definitely throw Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks in the mix), why should Condit even fight? Condit’s main objective is to fight Georges St. Pierre to unify the interim belt with the champion’s belt. With that being said, GSP isn’t due back until the fall of 2012. That’s a long time for Condit to be on the shelf. The UFC likes to have championship fights headline their bigger cards, so they would almost be forced to have Condit fight before GSP is ready.
Since the Nick Diaz versus Carlos Condit II isn’t materializing because of a little “puff, puff, pass” (Nick Diaz failed a drug test given for UFC 143), Condit will be forced to defend his title against another opponent, most likely in the early summer so that the winner has enough time to recover for a fall unification fight. The timelines match up, and because of the circumstances, we may be seeing a number one contenders match on next Wednesday.