Jake Ellenberger may have taken a fight at UFC 129 against Sean Pierson on short notice, but it sure didn’t show in his performance.
Despite only two weeks to prepare for the bout, Ellenberger came out and put on a strong showing like, dispatching of Pierson in the first round.
The Nebraska native showed off the improved striking he’s learned under Master Rafael Cordeiro, slamming his Canadian opponent with a beautiful counter left hand that ended his night in Toronto. The only downside to the punch that put Pierson away was that it broke Ellenberger’s hand. He had surgery on Tuesday to repair the damage.
“I broke the fourth metacarpal in my left hand. Just had to get a quick little operation, but it went smooth. Should be back in training in six to eight weeks,” Ellenberger told MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday.
With two fights already under his belt in the first four months of 2011, the six or so weeks off due to the hand injury will force Ellenberger to take a bit of a vacation.
“I was in need for one, so it kind of worked out,” he joked.
Since a close split decision loss to Carlos Condit in his UFC debut, Ellenberger has picked up four consecutive wins including stoppages over Mike Pyle and John Howard.
Sitting on the cusp of the top ten in the division, Ellenberger is ready to face the biggest and best challenges when he fights again. While his grand plan is to have a full training camp for his next fight, he knows it’s hard to say no when UFC matchmaker Joe Silva comes calling.
“I’ve probably said that a few times that I wouldn’t do it, that I wasn’t going to take short notice fights. I can’t say that I won’t again,” said Ellenberger. “If I’m training and it comes up again, I want the UFC to know they can rely on me. I’m always going to make weight; I’m always going to be ready to fight.”
Ideally, Ellenberger has one particular fight on the tip of his tongue for his next fight if Joe Silva is listening.
Ellenberger has long called for a fight against Jake Shields, and if he has his wish, that will be his next opponent.
“I would love it. I would still love that fight,” Ellenberger said about Shields. “It’s definitely up to the UFC, you know Joe (Silva) and Dana (White), what they want to do, but yeah if I could pick who I fight it would definitely be (Jake Shields).”
Ellenberger has been somewhat critical of Shields in the past, but he still understands just how dangerous the former Strikeforce middleweight champion can be in the cage. That’s exactly why Ellenberger wants to face him, because he knows it would be a tough test, and one that would prove his standing in the division.
“I definitely still think Shields is on that level; he’s a top guy. Fighting a guy like GSP, that’s a tough feat in it’s own, but Shields is still a top ten guy in the division. I’m ready, I really feel I’m ready,” Ellenberger said.
“I’m just ready to face those top ten guys.”