Jake Ellenberger was scheduled to fight Jay Hieron at UFC 151, but that event was cancelled and his fight was pushed back to UFC on FX four weeks later. He won the rematch earning a unanimous decision and now he’s hoping to get on a card in February. MMARecap caught up with Ellenberger to discuss his fight, Josh Koscheck and more.
How’s it going today?
I’m doing good. How about you?
Doing well. It’s been a busy day for me. I started my marathon training again yesterday, and all I could think was, “I don’t know how you guys do this.” And I’m just running; I’m not getting beat up every day. So that’s my first question: How soon did you get back into training after your fight with Jay Hieron?
I’m always training. Whether it’s just watching videos and mentally strategizing. I’m constantly talking to people, coaches, and just seeing things I can get better at. So really I don’t ever stop training. The intensity came down a little bit obviously. I went down to Brazil a couple weeks and was training down there as well. But for me, I keep building on the things I’m doing good and keep evaluating myself.
You are coming off your victory over Jay Hieron at UFC on FX 5. How big of a win was that for you?
Every win is a big win, especially at this level. Every fight is extremely tough, and there’s so much that goes into every fight. Each fight has its own special meaning. But especially avenging somebody I’d lost to in the past, it was a big one for me.
Was there anything in that fight that surprised you at all?
Not really. Jay’s extremely athletic — he’s quick. And I knew he was gonna be a lot better fighter than when we fought the first time. So surprise me? Not really. I was expecting a tough fight and a whole new fighter. I had to focus on me and what I had to do to win.
How would you rate your performance in that fight?
I was happy overall. If you look at it from the outside looking in, it’s a dangerous fight to take for anybody, especially me being established at the UFC and then having a guy come back from who hasn’t been in the UFC, that you know is gonna be a tough fight. And for me, I don’t have a lot to gain from fighting it, I really don’t. But at the same time, it’s my job. I don’t get to choose who I fight. My job is to do who they put in front of me. So it was tough to strategize. He had a lot to gain by coming back. For me, I have to come back 100% and prove that I am a contender
Did anything change in training camp for that fight when it got pushed back a month due to UFC 151 being canceled?
Really not as much as you’d think. I was already peaking, so for me it was continue to train but start to separate the days and kind of take a little bit more… a little more relaxed until I found out when it was going to be rescheduled. It wasn’t a big change for me. It was those last four or five days which I had to shake up the temple a little bit. I didn’t want to over train and just being smart. That was the biggest thing.
Now you were originally supposed to fight Josh Koscheck, but then he had to withdraw, and you got Jay Hieron instead. Is Koscheck a fight you’re still actively seeking?
Yeah, he’s somebody I’ve wanted to fight from before I was even in the UFC. Whether that happens… I don’t know. It’s definitely something I’m hoping for.
When would you like to get back inside the cage?
I was hoping maybe February. February would be a good time for me.
What’s your preference between fighting on Fox or pay-per-view?
I would always rather be on the biggest cards. As far as going from pay-per-view to FX it really doesn’t matter to me because it doesn’t change your pay. My MMA pay stays the same whether it’s the first fight on a FX card or on a pay-per-view. It’s always exciting to be on the main show, everyone loves the attention. But if I could choose I’d definitely love to be on a Fox card, for sure.
Where can the fans find you at?
They can find me on Facebook – Jake Ellenberger on Facebook – or they can follow me on Twitter @EllenbergerMMA.
Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
LunarPages as well as Muscova and Team Vega.