UFC 201 Breakdown: Matt Brown vs Jake Ellenberger

Matt BrownPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at a welterweight on the main card of UFC 201 as Matt Brown takes on Jake Ellenberger.   Matt Brown (Record: 20-14, -300 Favorite, Fighter Grade: B+) The Ohio born Matt Brown had a middling MMA career until he really put it all together in 2012 winning seven straight contests before losing a decision to eventual champion Robbie Lawler. Brown has cemented himself as a top ten welterweight fighting the top fighters in the division. Brown is looking to get back on track after a submission loss to Demian Maia earlier in 2016. The Elevation Fight Team-trained fighter continues to stride along in his MMA career. He continues to be one the sport’s most entertaining fighters. His aggressive approach on the feet has made him a fan favorite. Brown throws the kitchen sink at opponents and is particularly effective with his elbow strikes. Brown has no fear and will go toe to toe with fighters that are significantly more talented and take them out of their comfort zone. He’s still vulnerable to body strikes and can be finished by an opponent who focuses on that type of attack. His ground game has improved over the years and it’s much more difficult to finish him with a submission than in the past. His takedown defense is one of his weakest areas at just a 61% success rate in defending takedowns.   Jake Ellenberger (Record: 30-11, +250 Underdog, Fighter Grade: C) The Nebraska born welterweight has been fighting in the UFC since 2009. He currently trains out in California at Kings MMA. He’s lost five of his last six fights overall including his last two. Ellenberger last fought in January 2016; a decision loss to Tarec Saffiedine. The former Nebraska-Omaha wrestling coach was considered at one time one of the top fighters in the division. The biggest win of his career was a stunning knockout of the elusive Jake Shields. Since that time, his career has started to falter. He had previously combined his powerful striking with a heavy top control wrestling game. As he’s got older, the biggest issue for Ellenberger has been tentativeness. He’s been unwilling to engage in the striking on the feet. It’s fair to say that he can’t take the punishment that he once was able to and now goes out of his way to avoid to try to avoid being hit. Ellenberger has also abandoned his wrestling game. Outside of his win over Josh Koscheck in February 2015, it has been years since Ellenberger has gone back to the basics. With that said, the UFC certainly hasn’t given the Kings MMA fighter any favors by pitting him against the division’s top talent during his skid.   Match-up On paper, this is a straight forward matchup. Ellenberger has been declining for the last several years and is being served up on a silver platter for Matt Brown. Ellenberger is so tentative on the feet which is a disaster against a fighter like Brown. In addition, Brown holds a three inch height and four inch reach advantage. Physically Brown holds the advantages and he certainly holds the mental edge in this bout. Given Brown’s approach, I fully expect this fight to end inside the distance. Even at -290, this is a sure fire winner. Ellenberger has only see the scorecards in one of his last five fights. Furthermore, Brown by TKO / KO (-115) is the most likely outcome of this bout. I don’t expect Ellenberger to put up much of a fight once he’s forced to engage with Brown for the submission to come into play. If Ellenberger were to win this fight, the only way I could see him doing so is by an early knockout. In his career, that’s the only way he’s been able to beat above average fighters is by stunning them early on. It’s a long shot, TKO prop pays +800, but it’s not completely out of the question.

Written by Jay Primetown

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