Until he met Georges St-Pierre this April — and became the first man in six title defenses to even take a round from the champ — Jake Shields had gone undefeated since 2004.
Since that time, he competed as both a welter- and middleweight and took home victories over the likes of Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Mike Pyle, Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Dan Henderson and Martin Kampmann, earning himself a reputation as one of the most effective and very best competitors in the sport — but none of that ever really moved his upcoming opponent, Jake Ellenberger.
Ellenberger, who has managed to put together a four-fight winning streak in the UFC, which includes victories over Mike Pyle and John Howard, spoke with MMAWeekly Radio recently and explained why he never bought into Shields’ hype.
“I just never really believed it. ‘Jake Shields is the best middleweight in the world, the best welterweight in the world,’ — like, I never believed it,” Ellenberger said. “He has beat some very tough opponents, but — it’s nothing personal against him, he’s probably a great guy. I’m sure we could be friends afterwards — but, I was just never sold on him.”
Having put in his time, his work and having strung together enough wins in the UFC to have people paying attention, Ellenberger believes now is his time to make a name for himself by taking out Shields.
“This is a very selfish sport and I want to be at the top,” said Ellenberger. “To be honest, at the time he was where I wanted to be. That’s just a guy I want to take out, and I get to prove it this weekend.”
Ellenberger will get his chance this weekend at UFC Fight Night 25, where he’ll meet Jake Shields in the night’s main event. FightLine.com will have live, ongoing coverage of the event — which takes place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana — so, don’t forget to check back on Saturday night!