Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Note: Scroll to the bottom for full results from the preliminary card.
Don’t get too drawn into the talk that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has beaten every meaningful contender in his division.
A new fighter threw his name into the upper tier of the 170-pound weight class Friday night in New Orleans at UFC Fight Night 25. Jake Ellenberger won his fifth straight and stopped St. Pierre’s last challenger, Jake Shields, via TKO less than a minute into their fight.
“It happened really fast,” Elllenberger told UFC.com. “I was in the clinch and hit him with a couple of knees like I’ve been working on.”
Shields (26-6-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) dropped and the referee called the fight, making it an official victory for Ellenberger (26-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at 0:53 of the first round.
It was the second straight loss for Shields, who was previously on a 15-fight winning streak that lasted six years. A distracted performance would have been understandable, as Shields decided to fight despite the loss of his father less than three weeks ago.
But Shields had no excuses for “getting caught.” He just wished he had a chance to come back from Ellenberger’s strikes.
“I thought I still had some fight left,” Shields said, “but the ref thought it was time to stop it.”
The victory was Ellenberger’s fifth straight and third this year after he defeated Sean Pierson at UFC 129 and Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126. His only loss in the octagon came in a controversial split decision to Carlos Condit, the next man slated to face St. Pierre, two years ago.
That was previously the bout Ellenberger was most known for, but the win over Shields should overtake that memory.
“It was one of my biggest wins,” Ellenberger said. “I can’t take away anything from what Jake Shields has done. He’s a world champion, a multiple-time world champion, and that’s what I want.”
Two other fighters inched closer to a championship on the main card in their respective divisions. Featherweight Erik Koch out-struck Jonathan Brookins to win his fourth straight. It came via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
In middleweight action, Alan Belcher took out Jason MacDonald by striking him into first round submission at 3:48. Belcher fought for the first time in 16 months after suffering a severe eye injury. He’s now 5-1 in his last six bouts and determined to make a run at a contest with Anderson Silva, who like St. Pierre is often said to have few worthy challengers.
“I want to pursue that belt,” Belcher said. “I’m back baby.”
Check below for results from the rest of the card.
Court McGee defeated Dongi Yang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28) in their middleweight bout. McGee won the "The Ultimate Fighter" season 11 and looks to be one of the show's most promising recent champions as he's a perfect 3-0 in the UFC.
Vagner Rocha submitted Cody McKenzie in a lightweight contest that turned into a Brazilian jiu-jitsu battle. After spending nearly the entire fight working on submissions, Rocha sunk in a rear naked choke at 3:49 of the second round.
Las Vegas lightweight Evan Dunham picked Shamar Bailey apart with strikes en route to a unanimous decision victory. All three judges gave Dunham every round.
Lance Benoist stayed undefeated and won his first fight in the UFC by beating Matt Riddle via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Benoist was able to fight through a severely broken nose, which hindered his approach for the final round and a half.
Bantamweight Ken Stone clinched his first UFC victory by submitting Donny Walker at 2:40 of the first round. Stone put Walker to sleep with a rear naked choke.
Seth Baczynski won a battle of former participants on "The Ultimate Fighter". In his drop to welterweight, Baczynski forced Clay Harvison to tap out due to a rear naked choke at 1:12 of the second round.
T.J. Waldburger showed off his Brazilian jiu-jitsu chops against UFC welterweight newcomer Mike Stumpf. Waldburger submitted Stumpf at 3:52 of the first round with a triangle coke after he took him to the ground in the opening moments of the bout.
Featherweights Robert Peralta and Mike Lullo went to a decision in a fight spent almost entirely in the stand-up. Peralta won a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), in large part because of leg kicks that reddened Lullo's legs.
"The Ultimate Fighter" season 13 cast member Justin Edwards scored a unanimous decision win over Jorge Lopez in their welterweight contest. All three judges scored it 29-28, with Lopez taking the final round after Edwards dominated early.