There’s a fine line between confident and cocky. What side of that line UFC welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger falls on is pretty much in the eye of the beholder.
Ellenberger, ranked fourth in the UFC welterweight division, will face the third ranked Rory MacDonald in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 8. As the fight approaches, Ellenberger has been holding nothing back in the trash talk department. When asked about why he has been laying into MacDonald in the time leading up to the July 27 fight, Ellenberger said, “I’m an evidenced based abuser. I didn’t make him make the stupid decision to fight me, I’m just going to make him look stupid when I destroy him.”
MacDonald also defended the jabs he has taken at MacDonald, saying, “I haven’t said anything that isn’t true, and my message to Rory is pretty clear. This isn’t a Tears for Fears lookalike contest. I said he should prepare for some horizontal television time, and I meant it.”
Ellenberger (29-6) has 18 knockout wins to his name, his most recent being a first-round “Knockout of the Night” victory over Nate Marquardt at UFC 158. If Ellenberger does make it 19 when he faces MacDonald it will only be the second loss in the career of the 14-1 MacDonald. MacDonald’s only other defeat was a TKO stoppage at 4:53 of the final round in his UFC debut against Carlos Condit.
With a victory in Seattle, Ellenberger will insert himself into the conversation regarding the next fighter to get a shot at the UFC welterweight title. That fact is not lost on Ellenberger, but it is not his main concern:
That’s obviously the goal at the end of the day, but I’m going out there to perform and to win. Rory doesn’t have a choice where this fight goes, this fight goes where I want it to go, and I’ve shown that in my past fights. I’m excited, he’s shown he has potential, but he has not faced anybody like me. So, I’m stoked to get in there.
Ellenberger has the attention of fans, fighters and especially his opponent heading into UFC on Fox 8. We’ll find out in a little more than a week if he can make good on his words.
**All quotes obtained first hand by Bleacher Report