During Jake Ellenberger’s UFC run the welterweight contender has showcased fearsome punching power and top tier wrestling skills, but more recently, the fighter has struggled. So much so, some have questioned the veteran’s mindset as he’s dropped consecutive bouts to Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler and most recently Kelvin Gastelum.
Well, at UFC 184 on Saturday, Ellenberger will look to get back on track when he faces another established vet in Josh Koscheck. While Ellenberger has undergone a rigorous training camp as always, in preparation for the bout, recently he told UFC.com that he’s been focusing more on the mental side of fighting.
“I’ve tended to be a little bit too relaxed and not view things maybe the way I should. Even with my last fight (against Gastelum) specifically, I get too relaxed in certain positions or I don’t really feel threatened, and in a way I can kind of look past somebody. But it’s all about your mind. It doesn’t matter how much skill or talent you have, and for me I focused on my psychological development. I don’t need to learn how to fight; it’s getting out of a box and finding that dark place inside of me and mentally evolving a little bit.”
“No one buys a ticket to watch Jake Ellenberger talk or fight,” he said. “It’s “The Juggernaut,” the savage guy who doesn’t care, and that’s what we’re trying to bring more out of.”
While Ellenberger’s recent setbacks are well documented, it wasn’t long ago when he was knocking on the door for a title shot, thanks to a 8-2 run to begin his UFC tenure. During that time, Ellenberger scored finish victories over the likes of Nate Marquardt, Sean Pierson, Mike Pyle, and Jake Shields. Yes, that is more in keeping with a nickname like “The Juggernaut”.
It certainly will be intriguing to see how Ellenberger approaches the dangerous Koscheck on Saturday. UFC 184 will be hosted by the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.