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Jake Ellenberger Vs. Diego Sanchez Likely For Early 2012

Fans who were looking forward to an exciting welterweight tilt between Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger were let down when Sanchez’s manager revealed over Twitter that the two were not going to meet at UFC on Fox 2 this January, as was rumored.

However, Heavy lifts the spirits of those fans today, reporting that Sanchez and Ellenberger will indeed do battle in early 2012, just not at UFC on Fox 2.

26-year-old Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger has established himself as a major player at welterweight this year, continuing his march of dominance by picking up victories over Carlos Eduardo Rocha, Sean Pierson and, most recently and impressively, Jake Shields. Those three victories combined with his two previous promotional wins over Mike Pyle and John Howard bring Ellenberger’s UFC career record to 5-1, his only loss a controversial split decision to Carlos Condit. In his most recent outing, Ellenberger starched previous number one contender Jake Shields with a knee in the first round, setting himself up to be a win or two away from a title shot.

Diego Sanchez is one of the most well-established fighters in the UFC, having gotten his start in the promotion by winning the first season of The Ultimate Fighter as a middleweight. He has since competed as low as lightweight (where he fought BJ Penn for the title, losing emphatically) but currently fights in the division he’s called home the longest: welterweight. Since returning to 170lbs. following a failed lightweight title run, Sanchez has gone 2-1, rebounding from a loss to John Hathaway by taking out Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann in succession. Sanchez is 23-4 overall and has competed against most of the best fighters in the division, most recently picking up a close and hard-fought decision win over Martin Kampmann.

No word yet on which event the two battlers will compete at.