Jake Ellenberger made his intentions very clear in an interview with HeavyMMA following his win over Diego Sanchez. The Nebraska native wants a shot at Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight belt.
“I think I should’ve been clearer on what I want and who I want to fight,” explained Ellenberger. “I think I can beat Carlos Condit, and that’s really the fight I want. That’s the fight I’m hoping and praying for – but it’s not my decision. It’s absolutely what I want, though.”
The UFC welterweight division has gone through a lot of twists and turns that have left Ellenberger in this difficult position. A knee injury sidelined champion George St. Pierre before Condit claimed the interim belt with a controversial decision over Nick Diaz. With Condit opting to wait for GSP to recover, Ellenberger may have to look elsewhere on his journey up the division ladder.
“To become the champion – that’s the plan. We’ll see how it all shakes out. If my next fight isn’t going to be Condit, then it will either be the winner of Hendricks vs. (Josh) Koscheck or (Thiago) Alves vs. (Martin) Kampmann. There is nothing easy ahead of me,” said Ellenberger.
“The Juggernaut” has been on a tear as of late, running through his last six opponents, most recently earning a hard fought decision against Sanchez. But a loss against Condit in 2009 leaves a blemish on the record.
For now, Ellenberger will have to wait for his shot at redemption, but the interim belt is not what he’s after. He wants the real thing.
“If I go out and beat Carlos Condit, I’m not the champion of the division because Georges St-Pierre is the reigning champion and unless you beat him, then you aren’t. It’s that simple. You have to beat the champ to become the champ. Georges is that guy.”