This Saturday, September 17, the UFC makes its way back to Louisiana for UFC Live: Shields vs. Ellenberger. Coming to you live from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Battle on the Bayou marks the UFC’s first trip back to the Pelican State in over nine years. While this may not be a star-studded card like a few of the recent cards, it is definitely action packed from start to finish.
As has become the norm, the preliminary bouts will be broadcast for free on the UFC’s Facebook page. Let’s take a look at the four Main Card bouts that will be shown on SpikeTV and break down each one.
The first televised bout features the return of Alan “The Talent” Belcher (16-6) as he takes on Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald (25-14) in the Middleweight Division. After a sixteen-month absence due to an eye injury that nearly ended his career, Belcher makes his return against the tough MacDonald who also recently came off a year-long layoff as a result of injury. When The Talent and The Athlete square off, you can expect excitement in the form of two men who will fight until the very end and give everything they have. Although Belcher has picked up some of his victories by way of submission, he is more known as a striker, having picked up the majority of his wins by KO/TKO. MacDonald, on the other hand, has picked up the majority of his victories by way of submission (19).
The next bout is TUF 12 Winner Jonathan Brookins (12-3) as he drops back down to featherweight to take on Erik “New Breed” Koch (12-1). After being forced to withdraw from previous fights due to injury, Brookins will finally make his post-TUF UFC debut, albeit in another division. Unfortunately for him, he was not given an easy fight in Erik Koch. In his thirteen career fights, Koch has only been to the judges’ score cards three times. With both men being grapplers, this fight could very well be tested on the ground. However, their grappling skills might cancel each other and the fight could be spent in the striking department.
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The Co-Main Event of the evening features TUF 11 winner Court “The Crusher” McGee (13-1) as he takes on Dongi “The Ox” Yang (10-1) in the Middleweight Division. In yet another battle of Grappler vs. Striker, neither man has ever been knocked out or submitted but only have lost by way of submission. Consequently, both men have earned the majority of their wins by either knockout (Yang) or submission (McGee). While both men have experience in both aspects of the fight, they are polar opposites in terms of fighting styles. When these two men meet in the center of the cage, you can definitely expect a fight.
The Main Event of the evening is a Middleweight bout between the former Strikeforce and EliteXC Champion Jake Shields (26-5-1) and Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger (24-5). Other than both being named Jake, both men also have a background as a NCAA Division II wrestler and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioner. Although both men are known for their wrestling, Ellenberger has won the majority of his fights bay way of knockout, while Shields has won most of his fights by submission or decision. In the eyes of many, this is a bigger fight for Ellenberger than it is for Shields. If Ellenberger wins, he can say he holds a victory over a former champion and his stock will skyrocket. However, if he loses, he will just be another name on Shields’ list. The winner of this fight can definitely expect their name to be tossed into the hat of potential Championship Contenders.
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