John Howard has knockout power to match anyone in the UFC's welterweight division, but like so many sluggers, his glaring weakness is takedown defense. At any moment, Howard could have knocked Jake Ellenberger for a loop. He ran into problems because he couldn't keep the fight standing. Howard was taken down in all three rounds and absorbed some huge elbows that caused the left side of his face to blow up. The cageside doctor stopped the fight at 2:21 of the third round, giving Ellenberger his second victory in the UFC.
Ellenberger, a wrestler by trade, was brilliant in his approach. The only way Howard was going to win the fight was to force a standup war. Ellenberger (23-5, 2-1 UFC) looked to clinch at every opportunity. He scored two first round takedowns and one more in the second round. That's when he landed the fight altering elbows. One of them blew up Howard's face. By the end of the fight, the swelling had spread from around Howard's eye all the way to his ear.
UFC color voice Joe Rogan suggested that it might be a broken orbital bone that Howard (14-5, 4-1 UFC) suffered.