UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger told MMA Fight Corner in a recent interview that he was looking forward to squaring off against top-ranked Johny Hendricks at UFC 158 on Saturday, March 16, but added that he’s moved on and is prepared for Nate Marquardt.
On the pay-per-view portion of that card taking place March 16 in Montreal, Canada, Ellenberger (28-6, MMA), who is currently ranked 6th in the division, will square off against former Strikeforce welterweight champ, Nate Marquardt (32-11-2, MMA).
Originally, Johny Hendricks was on tap to scrap with Ellenberger, but all that changed when Rory MacDonald was injured and withdrew from fighting Carlos Condit. Hendricks was shifted over to fight Condit and Nate Marquardt stepped up to challenge Ellenberger. With less than a month to prepare for the well versed Marquardt, Jake said the change of opponent actually hasn’t forced him to switch up his training.
“It’s really not a big adjustment for me, I’ve got to be prepared to fight,” Jake stated. “It’s a small change as far as strategy goes. You gotta be ready to fight and I’m ready to fight. I was really looking forward to the Johny fight. Obviously, he’s in a very good position right now, he’s one of the top guys. It is what it is, I’ve moved on. There’s no easy fight, man. There’s no easy fight. You’ve got to be prepared for anything.”
While Ellenberger admitted that he was looking forward to getting into the Octagon with Hendricks, he explained that he is harboring any ill will about the current situation.
“I do want [Marquardt], I really do. He’s a guy that I know really well and I’ve watched him quite a bit. [Johny] was just a fight I was really excited for and having prepared for so long specifically for him. It was definitely frustrating when that got pulled, but that’s out of my control. Like I said, I’ve moved on and I still got a fight March 16th. I got to take care of business.”
“He’s dangerous too, he hits hard, he’s pretty good everywhere. 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,” Ellenberger continued. “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.”