When MMA Fight Corner caught up with Jake Ellenberger at the Xyience Xen Art event last Friday, Ellenberger was just as bummed as everyone was that UFC 151 was cancelled. He was supposed to be fighting Jay Hieron in his return fight to the UFC in the co-main event of the fight card.
Now that Ellenberger vs Hieron is rescheduled to take place at UFC on FX 5 as the co-main event on October 5th in Minneapolis, MN, Ellenberger is hoping the first loss of his pro MMA career suffered at the hands of Jay Hieron in IFL doesn't come back to haunt him.
Additionally, Jake had a 6-fight win streak snapped when Hieron's teammate at Xtreme Couture, Martin Kampmann, KO'd him in the second round of The Ultimate Fighter Live finale in June. "I'm very familiar with Jay and I know everyone at Xtreme Couture is very familiar with me as well," Jake said. "But, Jay's a good guy, I've trained with him, we've fought him before. So I know him, he knows me, we kind of both know what to expect."
Despite the fact that Hieron has cornered two men against Ellenberger, Jake said when fight night comes, anything can happen. "At the end of the day a fight's a fight. It's unpredictable. Even like our fight, me and Martin's fight, obviously that's not how I saw the fight going, fights are unpredictable and that's kind of the beauty of the sport. For me, I just gotta focus on what I gotta do to get better."
A NCAA wrestler out of Nebraska, Jake explained that he also has ties to Minnesota and will look forward to a crowd rooting for him to succeed. "Minneapolis is a cool city too. I used to live there. I used to live there for a year, so it's kind of a little bit like home to me. I'm looking forward to going back up there."
Despite the debacle that was UFC 151's cancellation, Jake has maintained a positive attitude and is focused on rebounding from his loss against Kampmann. Ellenberger knows that loss may have dropped him off the top contender radar and he's more than prepared to work his way back to the top of the ranks.
Of course he knows to make a statement and get back to the top, he'll have to find a way to stop a very driven Hieron. "Jay's a tough cat. He may not be as well known as a guy like Koscheck, but he's dangerous. I think he's probably more dangerous. He's hungry to get back in there, especially to get back in the UFC too. So he's gonna come in strong too, I expect a tough fight for sure. Again, I gotta make a statement and prove I'm a top contender again. So, I'm ready."
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