This is a rematch that truly makes sense at this point for both fighters careers. When these two first fought Jake was 21 years old, and a perfect 12-0 with Hieron being the UFC veteran. Now, Jake is a UFC mainstay and contender with Hieron being the veteran trying to make a statement before he leaves the fight game for good. Will the reversal over time make a reversal in the outcome of the fight? We will see this Friday night, and until then it is just a guessing games based on how these two have performed since they first met.
After the loss to Hieron, Jake went a paltry 5-3. Then he pieced together a four fight win streak which lead him to a short notice fight in the UFC against current interim champion Carlos Condit. Jake did well in that fight, but his cardio failed him in the end. He then reeled off six straight wins with four of those coming by TKO or KO, and then he met the knees of Martin Kampmann which gave him his first knockout loss. Now he will be looking to finish this fight, and show to the fans and UFC brass he is still a force to be reckoned with at 170.
Hieron has always been a great fighter, but he has always loss when it meant the most. Whether it was losing his title shot in Strikeforce due to his style, getting laid on by Ben Askren, or just losing out on bad choices for his career, he has never truly won “the big fight”. Despite a decent record of 23-5, try pointing out one fight in his career when he has had a spectacular win. Whether it has been a poor split decision, the loss to Askren, the loss to a young GSP, or getting beaten by Brad Blackburn or Jonathan Goulet, Hieron has always loss to top tier opposition. Thanks in part to the cancellation of 151, he has at least had proper time to prepare for this bout.
The Bottom Line:
These fighters are at completely different places in their career then when they met the first time. Unlike the first time, Jake is a proven “Juggernaut” in the sport now. 27 and on the rise, you can expect to see Ellenberger finishing Hieron in the second round of this fight.