TUF 21 Finale: Thompson vs. Ellenberger Date: July 12 2015 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena Broadcast: FS1 UFC Welterweight Contender Stephen Thompson Stephen Thompson (10-1) was a highly-decorated kickboxer before turning to MMA in 2010, and the results so far have been tremendous. The 32-year-old American is 5-1 in the UFC with wins over Robert Whittaker, Patrick Cote, Chris Clements, Dan Stittgen and Nah-Shon Burrell and he has only lost to top-ranked Matt Brown in his career. He has absolutely wicked striking with big-time knockout power in both his hands and feet and overall he has some of the most unique standup in MMA. He is improving is wrestling by training with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and if he can implement that facet of his game in his fights, he could be a hard out for anyone at 170lbs. Thompson showed some flaws in the Brown fight, namely in his cardio and takedown defence, but that fight was three years ago, and if he’s made the improvements and adjustments in those parts of his game, he should be able to dispatch of Jake Ellenberger at the TUF 21 Finale in what is his highest-profile fight to date. UFC Welterweight Contender Jake Ellenberger Jake Ellenberger (30-9) made his way toward the top of the UFC welterweight title contenders thanks to an impressive six-fight winning streak that included four via TKO/KO over Jake Shields, Sean Pierson, John Howard and Mike Pyle. Unfortunately, the 30-year-old from Omaha saw his winning streak come to an end with a stunning knockout loss to Aaron Kampmann, who advanced to what was originally viewed as a title eliminator bout against top contender Johny Hendricks. The loss was a bit of a surprise considering Ellenberger looked like he was about to finish Kampmann before the tables were turned on him. Ellenberger rebounded from the fight against Kampmann to defeat Jay Hieron and Nate Marquardt, but then he went back to his losing ways, getting beaten by Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler, and Kelvin Gastelum in order. With his back against the wall, Ellenberger had to beat Josh Koscheck at UFC 184, and he did just that by earning his first UFC submission win. With his confidence back, Ellenberger looks to continue his winning ways when he takes on Stephen Thompson in the main event of the TUF 21 Finale in what should be a great fight for the fans. Opening TUF 21 Finale Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Thompson a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Ellenberger opened as a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. This is a nice fight between two fringe top-15 welterweights looking to move up the rankings. Thompson is coming off of a decision win over Patrick Cote and has looked great overall in the Octagon except for in his loss to Matt Brown. As for Ellenberger, he had a three-fight losing streak snapped with a submission win over Josh Koscheck his last time out. Thompson is the better striker in this fight, but Ellenberger is the better wrestler and has a lot of KO power on the feet. Despite Ellenberger having more UFC experience and the bigger name, Thompson has been more consistent in the Octagon, and that’s why he opens as the favorite.