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Free UFC Picks – UFC Live Lines | Shields vs Ellenberger

UFC Live: Shields vs Ellenberger Preview & Pick

The UFC has bigger plans ahead with its massive FOX TV deal but still has to play out its remaining free-TV schedule first. UFC Live: Shields vs Ellenberger will air Saturday, September 17 on Spike.


Promotion – Ultimate Fighting Championship
Event – UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou – Shields vs Ellenberger
Date – Saturday September 17, 2011
Time – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Venue – New Orleans, Louisiana
Broadcast – Spike TV

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It will feature an elite welterweight coming off his first defeat in 15 fights in Jake Shields facing a rising contender in Jake Ellenberger.

Here’s my pick for the main event – plus a few bets to try for some other bouts featuring former Ultimate Fighter winners.

Welterweight: Jake Shields (26-5-1) vs Jake Ellenberger (25-5)
UFC odds: Shields -170, Ellenberger +140

Is Jake Ellenberger the right opponent for Jake Shields following the latter’s championship-fight loss to Georges St-Pierre? It’s a matter of opinion.

One school of thought – of which I’m a member – is scratching its collective head. Shields was and still is the No. 2 welterweight on the planet. Is Ellenberger even a top-10 guy at 170 pounds? It sure seems like this is a tune-up fight.

The other school of thought really believes in Ellenberger, a.k.a. The Juggernaut. He’s a big, tough welterweight with some of the heaviest hands in the division, as evidenced by his 16 career knockout victories.

Ellenberger narrowly lost to Carlos Condit in his UFC debut but is 4-0 since then. He’s run through Mike Pyle, John Howard, Carlos Eduardo Rocha and Sean Pierson, winning three of those bouts by KO.

The oddsmakers have Ellenberger as only a mild underdog. Perhaps they believe that his NCAA Division-II wrestling background and size will help him keep the fight standing. If he can do so, he undoubtedly has an advantage. Striking is an afterthought for Shields, who simply throws pitter-patter punches to set up takedowns most of the time.

But I seriously doubt Ellenberger can keep the fight standing. Because he matched up against GSP, whose grappling is legendary, people forget just how phenomenal of a grappler Shields is. He embarrassed Dan Henderson, an elite wrestler who just fought at heavyweight. Shields is also a big welterweight; Ellenberger may not even have a size advantage.

Shields has beaten much, much tougher competition in his career, including Condit, Yushin Okami, Henderson and Martin Kampmann, just to name a few. Even if Ellenberger lays a hand on him, Shields can survive thanks to one of the sport’s best chins. I think it’s only a matter of time before Shields submits this inferior opponent. Pick: Shields -170 [ad-3573245]


Middleweight: Court McGee (13-1) vs Dongi Yang (10-1)

Beware ring rust! Court McGee was impressive in capturing the Ultimate Fighter crown and has just one professional loss to his name. However, he hasn’t fought in 11 months because of a knee injury. I have to think he’ll feel a bit stiff, which could put him in trouble against a knockout artist like Yang. Even if he doesn’t put McGee away, he may outpoint him. Pick: Yang

Featherweight: Jonathan Brookins (12-3)vs Erik Koch (12-1)

Finally, will we get to see former Ultimate Fighter winner Jonathan Brookins in action? He’s pulled out of bouts repeatedly since winning the show at lightweight last December, battling injury troubles. Now, he’ll drop down and battle Eric Koch at featherweight.

Koch is quietly 4-1 over his last five fights and is a rising contender at 145 pounds. However, though he’s a kickboxer, he’s not an elite finisher. The greatest threats to Brookins are guys with major knockout power, as Brookins keeps his hands so low that he exposes himself to big shots.

Anyone not powerful enough to drop Brookins, however, is usually in for a long night. His style isn’t always pretty but he’s extremely strong for a long, lanky guy and can ragdoll opponents on the ground. He’ll only have more of a physical advantage at a lower weight class. I think he’ll win against Koch – and win ugly. Pick: Brookins

Middleweight: Alan Belcher (16-6) vs Jason MacDonald (25-14)

Jason MacDonald has fought well of late, using his long frame and great submission skills. His only loss in his last five bouts came because of a freak broken leg. But his opponent, Alan Belcher, is much more well-rounded. Belcher has only been submitted once in his MMA career and should defeat MacDonald with superior striking. Pick: Belcher

Main Card

Welterweight bout: Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger
Middleweight bout: Court McGee vs. Dongi Yang
Featherweight bout: Jonathan Brookins vs. Erik Koch
Middleweight bout: Alan Belcher vs. Jason MacDonald

Preliminary Card (Facebook)

Lightweight bout: Cody McKenzie vs. Vagner Rocha
Lightweight bout: Evan Dunham vs. Shamar Bailey
Welterweight bout: Matt Riddle vs. Lance Benoist
Bantamweight bout: Ken Stone vs. Donny Walker
Welterweight bout: Clay Harvison vs. Seth Baczynski
Welterweight bout: TJ Waldburger vs. Mike Stumpf
Featherweight bout: Mike Lullo vs. Robert Peralta
Welterweight bout: Justin Edwards vs. Jorge Lopez[1

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.