As a fan, UFC welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger wants to see what happens if 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre and middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva ever step into the Octagon across from each other.
But as a competitor, he hates the superfight talk. Ellenberger wants to see what happens when he steps into the Octagon with St-Pierre, the UFC welterweight championship on the line.
“As a competitor, I don’t want to see (St-Pierre fight Silva),” Ellenberger said recently. “But if I was in his shoes, that’s probably what I would do. Really, what more can you accomplish, unless he just wants to continue to compete.”
For now, it seems St-Pierre will likely remain at welterweight to fight No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks.
All of that is moot, however, if Ellenberger doesn't win his next fight.
He's been told that the winner of his next fight will likely get a title shot after Hendricks, but as he says, “that’s not in writing.” For now, he’s focused on what’s before him, a bout with GSP training partner Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 8 on July 27 in Seattle.
Talking about St-Pierre is all well and good, but Ellenberger’s energy is better spent on MacDonald, a fighter that many have called the next St-Pierre of the UFC’s welterweight class. Ellenberger is not one of that many.
“They’re claiming this kid to be the next GSP, dominating the division… I disagree,” Ellenberger stated. “I absolutely believe that I’ll beat him. I don’t believe that his chin has been tested.”
That doesn’t mean that Ellenberger is taking his young Canadian counterpart lightly.
“He’s one of the young studs coming up. He’s got a lot of confidence behind him, trains with GSP. It excites me. Stylistically, he’s a great match-up.”
At 28 years of age with 35 professional fights to his credit, Ellenberger hasn’t yet bagged a UFC championship. He has, however, been considered a top five to 10 fighter long enough that he knows exactly what he has to do to get there… and that is win fights.
He doesn’t hand-pick fights. He doesn’t call out opponents. He fights who they put in front of him, because when you do that and you win, you get into the title mix.
“If you really think you’re the best in the world, you’ll fight whoever they tell you,” said Ellenberger. “I’m not looking to fight everybody in the division, I’m looking to fight for the title.
“Actions do speak louder than words. You can get fights you really lobby for, but at the end of the day it really comes down to winning.”
While he may continue to get asked about St-Pierre, that's not who is at the fore of his mind. That spot is reserved for MacDonald… for now.