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Jake Ellenberger: “I thought I had him.”

UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger came so close to victory last night he could probably taste it. Unfortunately for him, based on the ultimate result, the resounding flavor residing on his tongue this morning is one of bitter defeat.

“I thought I had him. I had him hurt in the first round, but he’s tough…I thought he was dazed, he was flashed a little bit, but he hung in there and it was his night,” said the 27-6 Ellenberger of opponent Martin Kampmann in a post-fight interview on Fuel TV.

Ellenberger had Kampmann on the cusp of unconsciousness in their main event match-up at the Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale after catching “The Hitman” with a stiff left hook. The blow sent Kampmann down to the ground and Ellenberger wasted little time springing on top to rain down strikes. However, Kampmann overcame the adversity and eventually caught Ellenberger with a few knees in the following round to earn a TKO victory.

The loss was the first for Ellenberger since September 2009, snapping a six-fight winning streak, and was the first time in his career he’d ever been stopped with strikes. While the evening’s outcome was certainly not one the 27-year old had anticipated given his previous success, it appears he’ll be using the stumble as a positive rather than let it break his spirit.

“I know I’ll be back stronger. I’m gonna learn from this for sure,” concluded a disappointed Ellenberger.

Check out the complete interview below: