UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger has added his name to the mix in hoping to land a fight against Carlos Condit at UFC 171. “The Juggernaut” is recovering from a hamstring injury that forced him to withdraw from an early-January fight in Singapore against Tarec Saffiedine. Ellenberger previously dropped a split decision to the former interim welterweight champion when they squared off back in 2009.
Stylistically, the matchup against “The Natural Born Killer” might be exactly what Ellenberger needs after a poor performance his last time out against Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8. The bout was widely panned for its lackluster nature. Ellenberger is in need of an impressive effort in the wake of that defeat,. and would definitely be facing one of the organization’s best in Condit.
Condit had been scheduled to face Matt Brown at the recent UFC on FOX 9 event in Sacramento in a fight that most believed would be an all-action war. Unfortunately, “The Immortal” was forced to withdraw because of a pair of herniated discs in his back. The UFC is now moving in another direction with Condit and trying to book an opponent for the no. 2 ranked welterweight on the March 15 card in Dallas.
The spot against Condit was offered to Nick Diaz in the hopes that the revenge angle would be enough to lure the veteran back into the Octagon. It wasn’t. Diaz lost to Condit in a five-round decision in their interim title fight at UFC 143.
Condit was passed over by the promotion to fight for the 170-pound belt after it was vacated by Georges St. Pierre. UFC President Dana White cited Condit previously having a title shot and losing to St. Pierre and also losing to Johny Hendricks as to why the organization went with Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler as the March 15 title fight. “Ruthless” is undefeated in three fights in his second stint in the organization.
That logic is understandable, but it remains clear that Condit is likely going to get the next title shot with another win. He looked devastating in finishing Martin Kampmann in the fourth round of their bloody affair at Fight Night 27 in Indianapolis.
Ellenberger says he’s game for the fight and relishes the opportunity against an elite opponent while Condit never passes on a fight against anybody. It will be interesting to see if this is the direction the UFC decides to go in or if they have another option in mind. If Ellenberger-Condit 2 becomes a reality, there’s no doubt that Ellenberger will have to raise his game immensely from the disappointing version of the fighter that fans saw in his last bout against MacDonald.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports