Jake Ellenberger is a respected veteran whose fighting spirit is still intact. But the reflexes that are also required are just no longer there.
The Omaha, Neb. native got a hometown fight an hour down the road Saturday night at UFC Lincoln, where the crowd gave him a warm welcome.
But Bryan Barberena wasn’t there to play along, and he sent Ellenberger to his fourth consecutive loss in just two minutes, 26 seconds.
So Ellenberger used the moment to lay down his gloves and call it a career in his home state after a 46-fight MMA career.
“It is what it is,” Ellenberger (31-15) said. “Hat’s off to Bryan, I gotta say there’s no better place to me to set the gloves down and call it a career than here in Nebraska.”
Ellenberger fired off the first combo of the bout, but Barberena used it as a wake-up call. He started landing clean shots on his foe and dropped him several times. The third time Ellenberger came off the mat, he ate a short uppercut, a left and a right as the fight was waved off.
Barberena (14-5) won for the second time in his past three fights and had his 12th career stoppage win. The MMA Lab competitor was respectful to his veteran foe in victory.
“I fight for the fans I respect the hell out of this guy and his brother and all of them, they’ve done so much for the sport.”