Two fighters entered UFC Utica with their backs to the wall, but only one, Ben Saunders, got the result they were looking for in the welterweight contest between Saunders and Jake Ellenberger.
Once upon a time, Jake Ellenberger was looked upon as a potential title challenger in the UFC welterweight division. When exactly that went wrong is difficult to pinpoint, but consecutive losses to Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler, and Kelvin Gastelum in 2013/2014 were the beginning of a considerable downfall for ‘The Juggernaut.’ Since that time, Ellenberger had gone 2-4, and entered into his fight at UFC Utica against Ben Saunders on a two-fight losing streak.
Saunders, for his part, had also lost two straight. Meaning one of these veterans would at least get back in the win column, and earn a bit of breathing room.
The real action in Ellenberger vs. Saunders started when Ellenberger caught a kick early in the second round. About ninety seconds in, he used that to drive Saunders into the fence, where he clinched and began peppering his opponent with uppercuts to the body. Yet just when it seemed like Jake Ellenberger might have the early finish, it was Ben Saunders landing a big knee to the body. That dropped ‘The Juggernaut’ instantly, as he covered up in pain. Saunders added a few punches to his downed foe, but the ref was already waving it off.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) June 2, 2018
Incredibly, it was just the first fight of the evening to be over within a round. A huge win for Saunders, and perhaps time to reflect on his career for Jake Ellenberger.
Ben Saunders def. Jake Ellenberger by TKO, Round 1, 1:56