Originally, Johny Hendricks was on tap to scrap with Ellenberger, but all that changed when Rory MacDonald was injured and had to withdraw from fighting Carlos Condit. Hendricks was moved over to fight Condit and Nate Marquardt stepped up to challenge Ellenberger.
With less than a month to prepare for the well versed Marquardt, Jake said the change of opponent actually hasn’t switched up his mode in training camp very much.
“It’s really not a big adjustment for me, I’ve got to be prepared to fight,” Jake stated. “It’s a small change as far as strategy goes. You gotta be ready to fight and I’m ready to fight. I was really looking forward to the Johny fight. Obviously, he’s in a very good position right now, he’s one of the top guys. It is what it is, I’ve moved on. There’s no easy fight, man. There’s no easy fight. You’ve got to be prepared for anything.”
While Ellenberger admitted that he was looking forward to getting into the Octagon with Hendricks, he explained that he is harboring any ill will about the current situation.
“I do want [Marquardt], I really do. He’s a guy that I know really well and I’ve watched him quite a bit. [Johny] was just a fight I was really excited for and having prepared for so long specifically for him, it was definitely frustrating when that got pulled, but that’s out of my control. Like I said, I’ve moved on and I still got a fight March 16th. I got to take care of business.”
“He’s dangerous too, he hits hard, he’s pretty good everywhere. As far as my stuff, I know what I’m good at and I really got to stay focused on what I got to do to win this fight,” Ellenberger continued. “Just really get prepared for anywhere it goes. Nate’s one of the best guys in the world. It really hasn’t affected my training at all I’m focused on what I got to do to win.”
With fight week just around the corner, Ellenberger’s already preparing himself for the same questions to be asked over and over about Hendricks and Marquardt and any lingering frustrations he might have with the situation. But more than anything, he’s getting his mental state ready for battle, envisioning the task at hand and focusing in on taking control in the fight.
“You have these conversations in your head when your training. And everybody who’s ever fought knows what I’m talking about. You get that edge. You start to feel uncomfortable, just being able to push yourself. It’s hard to do. Just being comfortable in that uncomfortableness. I’m going to have to push myself. Control where this fight goes and really distance his range, I’m going to have to control that with Nate. It’s just fifteen minutes and I gotta push myself past that limit.”
When the welterweights take centerstage at UFC 158, Georges St-Pierre will put his title on the line for the ninth time against Nick Diaz in the main event. Condit vs. Hendricks is the co-main event. Ellenberger vs. Marquardt is also on the main card just prior. It all goes down Saturday, March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Watch the full interview with Ellenberger on MMA Fight Corner here:
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