Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
Jake Ellenberger says Johny Hendricks is looking for the path of least resistance, which is why he feels 'Bigg Rigg' asked to face Carlos Condit at UFC 158 instead of sticking to their proposed fight, set to go down the same night in Montreal.
Jake Ellenberger was left hanging high and dry after his original opponent, Johny Hendricks, called Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and asked to be the one to fill in for the injured Rory MacDonald against Carlos Condit at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013 in Canada.
Of course, Ellenberger found another dance partner in longtime UFC veteran and former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nate Marquardt, but, Jake's feelings were still hurt because ‘Bigg Rigg' bailed out of their proposed fight in favor of a "less dangerous" Condit.
Ellenberger went as far to take to his Twitter account and relay a direct and not-so-subtle message to Hendricks:
Nevertheless, Ellenberger knows he will get his hands on Hendricks sooner or later, a fighter Jake says he has all figured out.
Bleacher Report has the word:
"I'm offended that Johny Hendricks called Dana to ask him to fight Condit. I'm going to choose my words carefully here, but I think that he wanted a less dangerous fight in my opinion. We're going to fight because I know I can beat him, and I have him figured out. It offends me that he did that."
As upset as Ellenberger is, he understands Johny is trying to position himself into title contention the best way he can, but that doesn't hide the fact that Hendricks never wanted the fight with him in the first place.
Despite his ‘less dangerous' comments aimed at Condit, Jake knows all too well how great of a fighter "The Natural Born Killer" is. He did, after all, lose to him in his UFC debut back in 2009 via razor-thin split decision.
But, regardless of his loss to the former interim-welterweight champ, Ellenberger wholeheartedly feels Condit is a ‘less dangerous' fight for Hendricks than he would be:
"I know how the game works and I know how he's trying to position the way people are looking at the scenario. He didn't want to fight me and that's a fact. So however he wants to word it, Carlos is a great fighter, one of the best in the division, I don't disagree there, but I would still say and he would probably say the same thing that it's a less dangerous fight. Is Carlos going to knock him out? I don't think so."
As far as Hendricks is concerned, all he is doing is trying to secure his shot at the UFC's 170-pound title and defeating Condit will be the best way to do it, regardless of whose feelings get hurt.
Read his explanation here.
For Ellenberger, he will have his hands more than full when he meets "The Great" on March 16. But, a win over the former champion could keep him on a collision course with Hendricks.
Then again, a loss for both Hendricks and Ellenberger in Canada could accomplish the same thing.