Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger, which took place on Feb. 15 from the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Condit

Omaha’s own Jake Ellenberger returned home on Wednesday and put on a solid performance against Diego Sanchez, earning a unanimous decision.

“The Juggernaut” was able to use his wrestling game to his advantage and controlled most of the stand-up exchanges to out-point Sanchez on the scorecards.

Carlos Condit (L) battles Nick Diaz (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

Ellenberger has always been underrated as a fighter, but now with six straight wins under his belt, there’s no doubt that this 26-year-old is capable of fighting for the title in the near future. His one loss in the UFC came in his Octagon debut, against none other than Carlos Condit, by split decision. Remember the name Condit, because Condit-Ellenberger will more than likely go toe-to-toe again.

Right now, the welterweight division is a mess. With what has happened to Nick Diaz and injuries to champion Georges St-Pierre, the division is wide open for anyone to earn a title shot. Condit earned the right with his recent win over Diaz at UFC, and now with Ellenberger on a roll, his name is in the discussion.

With St-Pierre out until late 2012, the interim champion Condit is not going to wait that long to get his shot at the belt. However, with Ellenberger making his name known, a rematch between Ellenberger and Condit is the logical match to make at this point. Whoever wins that fight will be the man likely step up against GSP when the champ returns to action.

Stefan Struve vs. Mike Russow

One heavyweight on the main card that was successful in his fight was Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve.

Struve took on Dave Herman in the co-main event of the evening. After a tough start in round one, “Skyscraper” came back in the second to win the fight by TKO.

With the win on Wednesday and one against Pat Barry in October, Struve has won two straight and is continuing to compete at a high level even at 24-years-old. The native of the Neatherlands still have a lot to improve upon, like the way he starts off early on in fights, but he has a bright future ahead of him if he stays healthy.

Stefan Struve (Heavy MMA)

Another rising heavyweight in the UFC is Mike Russow. Ever since signing with the UFC in August 2009, Russow has gone 4-0, with his last win coming in January against John-Olav Einemo.

Some may not think this would be a pivotal match-up, but actually this would be a big fight for both men. Both Struve and Russow are trying to work their way into the top 10 and this fight would propel them to where they wanna be.

Struve hasn’t faced many wrestlers in his career, but Russow prefers to go to the mat. But all of Russow’s wins have come by knockout, so it will be interesting to see how Russow would handle the length of Struve.

Ronny Markes vs. Chris Camozzi

In a middleweight tilt, Brazilian Ronny Markes was able to grind out a victory over Aaron Simpson by winning two of the three rounds. This is without question the biggest win of the 23-year-old’s career, but he has a lot of progressing left to do to before taking on the top-of-the-line middleweights.

An opponent to consider for Markes next is Chris Camozzi. Camozzi is a young guy at 25 years old and is at a similar point as Markes. “Kamikaze” has had an up-and-down career with many setbacks, but now has a win over Dustin Jacoby under his belt that should launch him into many more wins in his young career.

Camozzi is one of the better well-rounded fighters in the middleweight division, with skills to either knock out or submit his opponents. With Markes being a Brazilian and training with a solid jiu-jitsu camp, Camozzi will have to use his purple belt in BJJ to be able to win this match-up, if made.

On the feet, I’d give a slight edge to Camozzi due to his length, but Markes has a solid chin, as he was able to withstand the uppercuts Simpson threw at him. Expect this to be a close bout in the middleweight division.

Stipe Miocic vs. Matt Mitrione

In another heavyweight battle, Stipe Miocic landed a heavy shot to the head of Phil De Fries, earning the Croatian a knockout victory in just 43 seconds.

Miocic now has two wins in the UFC and seems to be a force to be reckoned with in the division.

One fighter that I have in mind to fight Miocic next is The Ultimate Fighter season 10 alum Matt Mitrione.

Mitrione has been out of action ever since UFC 137 in October and fans would love to see Miocic-Mitrione, I believe. Both men are heavy-handed and are strong wrestlers. What could be a better stylistic match-up than that?

Miocic hasn’t showed off his Division I wrestling much in his time with the UFC yet, but against “Meathead” he will more than likely have to use it. But for Mitrione, he will have to figure out a way to avoid the heavy shots from Miocic. All in all, this would be a great fight to make.

T.J. Dillashaw vs. Edwin Figueroa

T.J. Dillashaw (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Fans had been waiting patiently for T.J. Dillashaw to return to the Octagon following his December loss to John Dodson in the bantamweight finals of The Ultimate Fighter 14, and they finally got to see him compete on Wednesday. Dillashaw dismantled Walel Watson in a lopsided fight that went to the judges’ scorecards.

A lot of hype has been surrounding Dillashaw ever since he competed on The Ultimate Fighter 14. But even with the hype, the Team Alpha Male bantamweight knows just how to back up the talk.

At only 26-years-old, there’s no need in putting him in the cage against a highly-talented fighter, but “The Viper” will get his shot to be put into the spotlight eventually.

For now, I could see him fighting a guy like Edwin Figueroa.

Also 26, Figueroa has won his last two bouts since dropping a decision loss to Michael McDonald in his UFC debut. Figueroa may not have as much talk surrounding him as Dillashaw does, but he has just as much potential.

This fight will dictate who will be the next big thing in the bantamweight division. The victor will take a huge step forward towards the crown, while the other will have to fight to keep a spot on the roster. The key to the fight will be whether or not Figueroa will be able to stop the takedowns of Dillashaw. If not, this may be a repeat of Dillashaw’s performance against Watson.

Ivan Menjivar vs. Chris Cariaso/Takeya Mizugaki winner

Another bantamweight took home a win on Wednesday night, as Ivan Menjivar used his experience advantage to defeat John Albert in the first round, earning himself Submission of the Night honors.

Menjivar is often overlooked in the bantamweight division, but has fought some of the toughest guys in the sport. Now with his career on track with three straight wins, “The Pride of El Salvador” is focused on making his way to the top.

But first, he’ll have to keep taking out tough competition midway through the ranks. Two men that are competing soon at UFC 144 are Chris Cariaso and Takeya Mizugaki.

Cariaso has fought two of the top up-and-comers in the sport in Renan Barao and Michael McDonald, but he hasn’t been able to win against competition at that level.

Mizugaki is a veteran who has fought in Shooto, WEC and now the UFC. Even though he hasn’t remained consistent, Mizugaki has faced off with many top 135-pound fighters in the world.

Whoever wins that fight between Cariaso and Mizugaki will give Menjivar a test. But Menjivar is a veteran and will be able to handle whatever is thrown his way.

Top Photo: Jake Ellenberger (via Facebook)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.