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Jake Ellenberger announces retirement after loss at UFC Lincoln

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UFC 201 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jake Ellenberger got one last outing in his home state. And when it didn’t go his way, he knew it was time.

Ellenberger, the veteran UFC welterweight, announced his retirement Saturday night after his loss to Bryan Barberena at UFC Lincoln. Following the first-round TKO loss, Ellenberger took his gloves off and laid them down in the center of the Octagon. “The Juggernaut” is an Omaha, Neb., native.

“There’s no better place for me to set the gloves down and say it’s time to move on than the place where it all started,” Ellenberger told interviewer Paul Felder.

Ellenberger (31-15) was once one of the top 170-pounders in the world, as well as a lock to have one of the most exciting fights — or knockouts — on the card. The California resident went 12-2 between 2008 and 2013, cementing himself as a top-tier welterweight. Ellenberger owns victories over Matt Brown, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields, Diego Sanchez and Nate Marquardt.

All told, Ellenberger spent nine years in the UFC, a span of 21 fights. He fought seven times in Nebraska, including this last one. In all, Ellenberger will finish with 46 pro fights.

“I’ve fought here my whole life,” Ellenberger said. “It’s been since 2005. I’ve gotta tell you, it means the world to me. Thank you guys, I love you.”

Ellenberger, who has bounced around between Reign Training Center, Glendale Fighting Club and other Southern California gyms, lost three straight coming into the fight against Barberena and will end his run with four losses in a row, all by knockout or TKO. He only has two wins in his last 11 fights and was finished seven times during that time period.

Five times in the UFC, Ellenberger either won Fight of the Night, Performance of the Night or Knockout of the Night.

In college, Ellenberger was a two-time Division II wrestling All-American at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.