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UFC 126: Jake Ellenberger Wins Split Decision Over Carlos Eduardo Rocha

Jake Ellenberger defeats Carlos Eduardo RochaJake Ellenberger fought a closer than expected bout with Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126, struggling in the first round before regrouping in the second and third rounds to win a split decision.

Surprisingly, one judge scored the fight 30-27 for Rocha. The other two scored it 29-28 for Ellenberger, which is how I scored it. With the win, Ellenberger improves to 23-5, and he's on a three-fight winning streak in the UFC. Rocha, who was taking a step up in quality of competition, falls to 9-1.

The first round was thrilling: Ellenberger secured a takedown early on, but he quickly learned that it's dangerous to be on the ground with a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt like Rocha. For most of the rest of the round Rocha was in the advantageous position, transitioning into whatever position he wanted to be in and threatening Ellenberger with submissions. Ellenberger did briefly get back to his feet, but Rocha controlled things on the ground and won the round.

The second round was mostly fought on the feet, which was to Ellenberger's advantage. Early on Ellenberger landed some hard knees, he was generally more effective in the striking exchanges, and at the end of the round he secured a takedown. It was a close round that I gave to Ellenberger.

Both fighters were tentative in the third round, but like the second round, the third was fought mostly on the feet, where Ellenberger had the advantage. Rocha's kicks looked impressive but weren't particularly effective, and a missed kick late in the round allowed Ellenberger to take Rocha down and end the fight on top.

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