Jake Ellenberger propelled himself into title contention with his knockout of Nate Marquardt
Jake Ellenberger: A+
In a card filled with the top four welterweights in the world, Jake Ellenberger was the 170lber who looked the most impressive. The ‘Juggernaut’ was able to finish Nate Marquardt on strikes almost three minutes into the first-round, and is slowly setting up a title campaign of his own. Much of the welterweight talk has centered on Johnny Hendricks’ title shot, but Ellenberger may have just firmly planted himself in the mix.
Carlos Condit: B+
Condit, again, looked fantastic in defeat. The ‘Natural Born Killer’ was able create a lot of damage from his back, escape Hendricks’ takedowns, and control many of the exchanges on the feet. His only problem?—the fact that MMA judging currently puts more emphasis on takedowns, than escaping those takedowns or working off of your back. The trouble for Condit is that he won the fight, but lost the decision.
Johnny Hendricks: B+
Johnny Hendricks looked impressive during the first-round against Carlos Condit, and showed great a wrestling and brawling ability. ‘Big Rig’ has finally set himself up as the next contender to Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight crown, and may be the one guy who has the ability to control the Canadian’s takedowns while having the power to stand with him. Look for Hendricks in a title bout late this summer.
Georges St. Pierre: C
Georges St. Pierre fought a smart and calculated fight, however, for an athlete of his caliber, simply turned in an average performance. St. Pierre showed that he was quicker, stronger, and more skilled than Diaz in every aspect of the fight, but, for whatever reason, could not finish the Caesar Gracie representative. St. Pierre can be a monster in the octagon when he chooses to be. It is his lack of aggression and killer instinct that can be disappointing. There is no reason why ‘Rush’ shouldn’t have finished Diaz in that fight.
Nick Diaz: D or A+
Nick Diaz earned a very poor grade for his performance in the octagon, as he was unable to sustain any meaningful offense against the powerful Canadian. Diaz, however, earned an A+ for his performance at the post-fight press conference, where he insulted Johnny Hendricks, the UFC, Georges St. Pierre and threatened retirement all in a matter of minutes.
Nate Marquardt: F
Nate Marquardt has not looked impressive since his drop down to 170 lbs, and was not able to get any offense going against Ellenberger. Marquardt’s days as an elite fighter are numbered, and with a couple more losses will probably be out of the UFC soon.