On a night with the best welterweights competing in the world, Jake Ellenberger made an early statement, finishing former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt at UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz.
Ellenberger landed a quick left and followed with a powerful right that floored Marquardt before ending the fight with some uncontested strikes. The win was the 29th of Ellenberger’s career and his eighth inside the Octagon.
“It’s hard to explain my emotions,” Ellenberger said, who was all smiles during the post-fight interview. “This is just what we do. I’ve worked so hard, and this makes it so worth it.”
Ellenberger was expected to face Johny Hendricks, but Hendricks took the place of Rory MacDonald to meet Carlos Condit in the co-main event. The win marked the 23rd finish of his career.
“We go through so much adversary and this shows how bad we want it,” Ellenberger stated. “I want that world championship more than anything in my life.”