Overall, the UFC had a terrific event at the Palms in Las Vegas last night. For the two main bouts, it would be a night of underdogs, as both of the fighters expected to win failed to do so. Jake Ellenberger was taken out by Martin Kampmann in the Welterweight main event, while Mike Chiesa submitted Al Iaquinta in the opening round of their ‘Finals’ bout from the reality show. For Chiesa especially, it was a bit of a heartwarming moment that transcended fighting. After all, in the early going of the Reality Show came the news that Chiesa’s father had passed away, but Chiesa continued on with the series. He won several fights on the show in come from behind fashion, and still came into the finals an underdog.
How will Chiesa fair in a rugged Lightweight division as he enters the UFC rotation?
It is interesting, because when the ‘TUF’ reality series started, the winners of the series came in near the top of their divisions, with Forrest Griffin winning the title in the Lightheavyweight division within a short period of time after the show.
Chiesa will hopefully get some time to continue developing. He is going to need to up his conditioning to a new level, and he is probably going to need a year or two to do it.
As for the rise and fall of Jake Ellenberger, well he went from being one of the hottest commodities in the welterweight division to going back to the drawing board.
The man who took Ellenberger out, Martin Kampmann is now in line for a title qualifier, reportedly taking on Johnny Hendricks at a future UFC sometime late this year.
Kampmann has proven himself to be a very resilient fighter, taking out two top guys in his last two fights after getting beat up in the early going of the fights.
Now, in order to earn a title shot, Kampmann is going to have to weather a fight against a technically sound fighter who will have a game plan and has a tendency to be more cautious than his previous opponents. Either way, Hendricks or Kampmann, the winner will be the next opponent for St Pierre or Condit.