UFC welterweight Jake Ellenberger will welcome Nate Marquardt back to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 158 after “Nate the Great” spent some time outside of the organization including a pair of appearances under the Strikeforce banner.
Ellenberger was initially preparing to face Johny Hendricks at the event before an injury-related switch resulted in Marquardt. However, while Hendricks is a heavy-handed contender with more momentum in the division than Marquardt, that doesn’t mean Ellenberger is approaching him any differently.
Ellenberger recently shed some light on his mindset regarding Marquardt in an interview with MMAFightCorner, explaining he’d only made minimal adjustments to his training in the wake of the late change and was fully prepared to throw down in what he sees as a tough test.
“It’s really not a big adjustment for me, I’ve got to be prepared to fight. 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.”
“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. 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.”
PHOTO CREDIT: UFC