Jake Ellenberger is coming off a loss that knocked him out of the running for a potential No. 1 contender match in the UFC’s welterweight division. Now, Ellenberger gets a chance to rebound and earn redemption all at one.
Ellenberger faces Jay Hieron this Friday night in the co-main event of UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot. The bout was originally scheduled for last month, but was moved with the cancellation of UFC 151.
After having his six-fight win streak snapped by Martin Kampmann earlier this year, Ellenberger (27-6) will be looking to get back on track. To do so, he’ll have to top Hieron, who handed him his first professional loss back in 2006.
“I’m a completely different fighter from the one he beat all that time ago,” Ellenberger said. “He’s a different fighter, too, so the first fight has nothing to do with Friday. I’m going to be happy to avenge that defeat, for sure. I feel I can win this fight and get back to the top of the division and challenge for the title.”
Ellenberger was in control of Kampmann before “The Hitman” turned the tide with a nasty knee and finished him in the second round. The loss, however, served a purpose in teaching Ellenberger a valuable lesson.
“I’ve learned to be more patient when I hurt someone, and I feel I’ve tightened up a lot of things since my last fight,” Ellenberger said. “I realize now I’ve got 15 minutes to finish fights and I think you’ll see this new maturity in my fight this Friday.”