Less than a month ago Jake Ellenberger was in the midst of preparing for a match-up with Johny Hendricks. In addition to being a tough opponent, Hendricks’ status as the UFC welterweight division’s consensus #1 contender put Ellenberger in a position of being able to steal his thunder by coming out victorious in the tilt. However, an injury to Rory MacDonald resulted in Hendricks being shifted to a scrap with Carlos Condit, and Ellenberger was handed former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt as a replacement.
While “The Juggernaut” was disappointed in the change, he’s definitely not approaching Marquardt as an inferior opponent.
“He’s dangerous too, he hits hard, he’s pretty good everywhere,” explained Ellenberger in an interview with MMAFightCorner. “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. 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.”
“It’s really not a big adjustment for me,” he said when asked about the late switch in his UFC 158 scrap. “I’ve got to be prepared to fight. It’s a small change as far as strategy goes. You gotta be ready to fight and I’m ready to fight.”
Ellenberger (28-6) has wins in seven of his last eight outings including those over Diego Sanchez, Mike Pyle, Jay Hieron, and Jake Shields. Comparably, Marquardt is 32-11-2 with notable past triumphs over the likes of Martin Kampmann, Demian Maia, Rousimar Palhares, and Tyron Woodley.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE