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 Fight Night 25: Shields vs. Ellenberger,” which took place on Sept. 18 from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Matt Hughes/Josh Koscheck winner

After his destruction of Jake Shields on Saturday, Ellenberger has now put himself near the top of the welterweight division.

I have always considered Ellenberger to be underrated as a fighter, but did not think he would be able to dismantle Shields like he did, landing one knee to the solarplex and one to the chin, and finally ending the fight with punches while on the ground.

A match-up likely for the Nebraska native is to take on the winner of a welterweight clash at UFC 135 between Hughes and Koscheck.

No matter who walks out of that fight on top, they will give Ellenberger a big test, as both men have either won a championship belt in the UFC or been in title contention.

With Hughes and Koscheck both being solid wrestlers, it will be interesting to see the takedown defense of “The Juggernaut,” who hasn’t faced a dominant wrestler in his career.

Jake Shields vs. Diego Sanchez

After what was probably the worst week of Shield’s life, having his father pass away and then falling victim to a first-round knockout at the hands of Ellenberger, the former Strikeforce champion now has to get his mind back in the right place.

The loss makes it two straight for Shields, and he desperately needs a win in his next fight.

A possible opponent could be Sanchez, who has gone 2-1 since moving from lightweight to 170 pounds. He is recovering from a broken hand, but the timetable should work for the two to be matched up.

The bout would give Shields a fight he is capable of winning, but would also be a big test as Sanchez is a very explosive fighter, earning two Fight of the Night awards in his last two fights.

However, if “The Dream” comes out on top, it would propel him far up the ranks in search of getting his first title shot at welterweight.

Court McGee vs. Alan Belcher

Both McGee and Belcher were able to take home wins on Saturday after returning from injuries.

“The Crusher” McGee fought in the co-main event, in which he was able to pull out a decision win over Dongi Yang.

Belcher made his return to the Octagon eventful, as he defeated Jason MacDonald in the first fight on Spike TV by verbal submission.

Obviously, the timing is perfect for the two to be matched up, and it would be an entertaining fight.

McGee hasn’t faced a guy with a similar skill set as Belcher, which will help progress him in his young career.

For “The Talent,” it will give him a fight that is winnable and will help him get back in the mix in the middleweight division.

Erik Koch vs. Javier Vazquez

“New Breed” took part in a tough battle against TUF winner Jonathan Brookins on Saturday. Koch edged out Brookins by unanimous decision, outpointing him with strikes.

The win now gives Koch a 2-0 record since joining the UFC from the WEC.

One opponent the UFC might have in mind for the 22-year-old is Vazquez, who also competed in WEC.

Vazquez has faced high-quality competition in his career, defeating Jens Pulver while losing to Chad Mendes. He was victorious in his UFC debut against Joe Stevenson in June.

This match-up is intriguing. The veteran Vazquez is very experienced and is known for a solid ground game. Koch utilizes an effective striking game, but also has seven submission wins.

If the two are setup to fight, it will be a solid striker vs. grappler affair.

Photo: Jake Ellenberger (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

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.