Post-UFC 180: On the Chopping Block

Jake EllenbergerThe Ultimate Fighting Championship was in Mexico City, Mexico this past Saturday night for the first time in promotion history with UFC 180. The action-packed 11-fight card featured an incredible eight finishes, and now with the solid night of scraps behind us, let’s take a look at which UFC 180 fighters we may no longer see compete inside the Octagon… ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK: Jake Ellenberger Ellenberger started his UFC career off with a split decision loss to Carlos Condit, and then went on to post an impressive six fight winning streak, including four finishes. He tried to extend that streak to seven against Martin Kampmann, but quickly faded in the fight and was finished by the veteran. He bounced back from that loss with a pair of victories over Jay Hieron and Nate Marquardt, but has since gone on to lose his last three bouts, all of which you could cite mental issues for being the reason of defeat. He was gunshy against Rory MacDonald and wound up eating the Canadian’s jabs en route to a unanimous decision loss. He was also gunshy against Lawler, who ended up finishing him in the third round via T/KO. His chance to bounce back was at this past Saturday night’s UFC 180 in Mexico City, where he took on an undefeated Mexican in Kelvin Gastelum. He was doing well on the feet, but Gastelum kept getting the better of him on the mat. It was during a grappling exchange on the mat where Ellenberger froze for a split second, which was a split second too late, as it was all the time Gastelum needed to sink in his famous rear naked choke and earn the quick tap for his 11th straight victory. After dropping three straight, I think there is a decent chance that Ellenberger gets released after this fight. The fact that they paired him up against an undefeated Mexican in Mexico when he has knowingly been having mental issues suggests that the UFC perhaps wanted to send Ellenberger packing. After coming off two losses, the latest being a T/KO against Robbie Lawler, a pairing with Gastelum was just not the right match-up for him to bounce back, it was the right match-up to give him to send him packing. I won’t be surprised if he gets another shot, but I think it’s more likely we’ll be seeing him on a World Series of Fighting card. Chris Heatherly Heatherly made his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 49 a couple of months ago, taking on returning veteran Ben Saunders and going on the lose the bout via omoplata submission in the very first round of action. He was outmatched and undersized against Saunders, and the same proved to be the case in his latest outing against Mexican promotional newcomer Augusto “Dodger” Montano. Heatherly found some success early on with his wrestling, but quickly faded in the fight, and with only 10 seconds remaining in the very first round, he was finished via knees against the cage by the superior striker. He has now suffered first round finishes in both of his Octagon outings, so I think there is a fair chance that he will soon be receiving his pink slip from the promotion. That said, I would not be surprised to see him get another chance, but if that happens, I think it will be at 155-pounds.

Written by Gabe Killian

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