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Jake Ellenberger Looks to Capitalize as Late Replacement at UFC 129

| April 29, 2011 | Reply

Jake Ellenberger 300x200 Jake Ellenberger Looks to Capitalize as Late Replacement at UFC 129

Just over two weeks ago, Jake Ellenberger wasn’t training for any specific fight. However, as we all know, injuries are a part of the sport and plans can change at the drop of a dime. Now, Ellenberger will step in Saturday night at UFC 129 against the hometown favorite, Sean Pierson after replacing an injured Brian Foster. 

Ellenberger last stepped inside the Octagon in February, earning a split decision over Carlos Rocha. Originally, Ellenberger was scheduled to face Jon Fitch on the same card, though Fitch was pulled from the bout to instead take on BJ Penn a few weeks later. Currently, Ellenberger is riding a three-fight win streak and over his UFC career, his only loss was to Carlos Condit in his debut. “The Juggernaut” has not been on the losing side since.

For many fighters, stepping up and taking a fight on short notice is looked at as a negative. Ellenberger, however, has his own perspective.

“Actually, it’s sort of nice to be a late replacement,” he said in an interview with ESPN. “You get to avoid the whole 8-10 weeks of mental stress. I feel better for this fight than I have for any of my fights with the UFC. I actually just met with one of my coaches — Dr. Jack Stark, who’s also a sports psychologist — and he talks about the advantages I have. He calls it the laser-point focusing. I don’t have a lot of distractions. I’m just having more and more fun each time I get in there. Pierson’s fighting in his hometown, his family is there, his friends — he has a lot more outside distractions.”

Although he makes a valid argument, it’s likely that Pierson is looking at it very differently. According to welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, the crowd inspires him while he is in the cage. Pierson, a fellow countryman, could be using the crowd to his advantage as well. Having fought in Canada for nearly every one of his fights, it’s probable that Pierson is used to the crowd.

Additional momentum comes by way of the Canadian’s six-fight win streak and consistent dominance over his opponents. In December, Pierson defeated Matt Riddle in his UFC debut and although it didn’t receive the award, Dana White dubbed the bout “the real fight of the night.” On the biggest stage of his career, Pierson will enter the cage Saturday night prepared to make his fans, family and friends proud.

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Tags: Canada, Jake Ellenberger, MMA, Sean Pierson, UFC, UFC 129

Category: MMA, UFC

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