Jake Ellenberger scored the biggest win of his career by knocking out Jake Shields in the main event of UFC Fight Night 25 Saturday night, flooring the former welterweight title contender with a pair of knees before the referee stepped in.
Many have already said that maybe Shields should not have been competing, as his father, Jack, passed away just a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, Shields did step into the cage, and the knees that Ellenberger delivered would have dropped even the most focused of fighters.
After the bout, Ellenberger did not say anything specifically to Shields about his personal loss.
“I don’t feel it’s my place to be (offering condolences after the fight),” said Ellenberger, to MMAFighting.com. “I know he’s going through a really tough time, but I don’t think it’s my place to talk about it. I feel for him – I really do. Like I said when I heard about this, family is the most important thing in the world outside of fighting, outside of anything.”
Ellenberger knew he had a job to do despite the personal feelings he felt for Shields, as once the cage door closed, it became all business.
“It doesn’t matter, to be honest,” Ellenberger said, on anyone who thinks about downgrading the win over Shields due to his lack of focus. “He took the fight. He stayed in there, which I respect about him. He showed he’s a professional and a warrior. He had the opportunity to pull out. I’m not taking anything away from him. A fight is a fight.”
Ellenberger has now won five straight bouts, including becoming the first to stop Shields since 2000 in just his third professional fight. This win will likely move him up the welterweight rankings towards a possible future title shot.