On Saturday September 17th 2011, the Ultimate Fighting Championship makes it’s long awaited return to New Orleans, Louisiana. This return marks the seventh time that the UFC comes to Louisiana, but the first since UFC 37 in May of 2002 . There has not been a UFC event in New Orleans in over a decade, which was UFC 27 in September of 2000. UFC Fight Night 25 represents the return of mixed martial arts to a spectacular city with a rich and ever growing combat sports community. The unique and colorful city of New Orleans possesses a spirit that is as resilient and strong as the fighters that will be ‘battling in the bayou’. SwoleScience will be covering this UFC Fight Night 25 live from New Orleans, Louisiana and this is the fight preview.
UFC Fight Night 25 will be broadcasted live on Spike TV and at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
UFC Fight Night 25 card will feature:
Shields vs Ellenberger
McGee vs Yang
Brookins vs Koch
Belcher vs MacDonald
McKenzie vs Rocha
Dunham vs Bailey
Riddle vs Benoist
Stone vs Walker
Harvison vs Baczynski
Waldburger vs Stumpf
Lullo vs Peralta
Edwards vs Lopez
Jake Shields (Record of 26-5-1) vs. Jake Ellenberger (Record of 25-5) – Jake Shields is coming into this fight with the mystique of being a five time world champion in multiple weight classes, and nearly seven year win streak that was recently broken in his debut bout at UFC 129, in a decision loss to Georges St. Pierre. Jake Ellenberger is a very impressive fighter that has fought his way through the ranks to comprise a record 16 knockouts and is the only fighter to lose to current contender Carlos Condit by decision in his entire career.
Jake Shields comes into this match as a submissions specialist. His brand of American Jiu Jitsu style combines traditional wrestling takedowns with jiu jitsu submissions, and has proved to be his strongest area. Shields’ weakest area is his stand up and he addressed this and his on going improvement of this area in our exclusive interview. In UFC 129, Shields’ could not takedown St.Pierre who then simply picked him apart by the points with superior striking ability. Shields’ record shows 10 wins by submission, 3 by knockout, and 13 by decision. This record shows that Shields is a strong, durable fighter who can go the distance but is also relatively limited to his ground game. A closer look at Sheilds’ striking shows that he has the ability to strike with the top level competition in the world but is not confident enough in his ability to finish fights in this manner. Shields definitely has more experience fighting higher level competition having defeated Carlos Condit, Dan Henderson, and Jason Miller to name a few. The key for Jake Shields to win this fight will be his ability to follow through with his takedowns, gain access to the ground by any means possible to utilize his exceptional grappling, and possibly to have improved his stand up enough to either set up a multiple take downs or pursue a knockout.
Jake Ellenberger is a knockout artist with an exceptional striking and delivery ability. Ellenberger’s biggest potential weakness is going to be contending with Shields on the ground. In UFC 129, Ellenberger was able to secure an impressive knockout over Sean Pierson in the first round. Ellenberger’s record shows 16 wins by knockout, 5 by submission and 4 by decision. This translates to a powerhouse striker with a fairly well rounded game who prefers to keep the fight standing, and can go the distance. Yet the fact remains that Ellenberger is a force to be reckoned with, but lacks high level wins or competition. Ellenberger’s has a well rounded record but will have to show that he can apply his skills to the top fighters in his division. The key for Ellenberger to win this fight will be to utilize sprawl-and-brawl to avoid takedowns, keep the fight standing and pursue the knockout with his superior striking.
Overall this is going to an extremely exciting bout due to the counterbalancing skills presented by each fighter. Jake Shields has never lost two fights in a row and always displays the ability to adapt to competition as a fighter. Shields brings a very strong grappling and ground game but Ellenberger has an average of blocking 89% of takedowns against him and has only been submitted once in his MMA career. Ellenberger brings impressive striking and knockout power but Shields has been able to avoid an average of 60% of strikes against him during his career and has only been knocked out once. Both fighters are extremely well rounded, durable and strong, and each has their own specialty. This fight is going to be fought on the ground and stand up with the fighters transitioning and fighting for dominance. The deciding factor is going to be who is able to draw their opponent into their specialized zone of combat and secure the win.
Court McGee (Record of 13-1) v. Dongi Yang (Record of 10-1)- This middleweight bout marks the return of The Ultimate Fighter 11 champion Court Mcgee against Korean slugger Dongi Yang. Court McGee is an excellent overall fighter with the ability to pick apart his opponents from any real zone of combat. He tends to be able to outlast his opponents and waits until the time is perfect for them to fall into his plan of attack. Doni Yang is a heavy handed striker with an impressive 9 out of 10 wins by knockout. He is aggressive and puts forth knockout power every round with unrelenting striking and strength. Given Court McGee’s slight preference for submission victories and Doni Yang’s dangerous stand up, this is going be a war and the is an excellent match up.
Jonathan Brookins (Record of 12-3) v. Erik Koch (Record of 12-1)- This featherweight bout pits another The Ultimate Fighter alumni- Jonathan Brookins against explosive former WEC fighter Erik Koch. Jonathan Brookins has won his last four fights via- 2 by submission and 2 by decision, and maintains 8 out 12 wins by submission. Erik Koch is on a three fight win streak with 2 fights by knockout and one by submission, and 7 of 12 wins by submission. Jonathan Brookins has exceptional patience with a very smooth fighting style that is bolstered by his iron chin and ability to transition. Erik Koch has superb controlled aggressiveness and ferocity that is paired with explosive timing. Both fighters are equally capable of controlling the fight but Brookins’ will definitely want to bring the fight to the ground to neutralize some of Koch’s power. Yet, even in this circumstance Koch has an excellent submission record and can also translate some of his power on the ground. There is going to be an exciting fight of two fighters that have the potential to become top level contenders in their division.
Alan Belcher (Record of 16-6) v. Jason MacDonald (Record of 25-14) – MacDonald is a UFC veteran coming off of a submission victory at UFC 129 over Ryan Jensen, and with 19 out of 25 victories via submission. Belcher is also a UFC veteran but is coming off a two win streak via submission and knockout in UFC 113 and 107 over Patrick Cote and Wilson Gouveia. Belcher has exceptional strength and power both on the ground and standing up. His record shows an incredibly well rounded 8 wins by knockout, 6 by submission and by 2 decision. He is capable both of knocking out an opponent as well as controlling them on the ground for a submission win. MacDonald has very strong submission and grappling game but a more limited standup application; this means he will probably have to take Belcher down and neutralize his strength and skill.
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