Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and top division contender Tyron Woodley, combined, are 28-4 with 18 finishes.
Jake Ellenberger's reaction?
"The Juggernaut" is knocking on the door of a potential title shot when he trades leather against Robbie Lawler at the UFC 173 pay-per-view (PPV) event over Memorial Day Weekend (details). Turning away the "Ruthless" slugger would no doubt be impressive, but it might not earn him a crack at the crown.
That honor could go to Tyron Woodley, instead, if "The Chosen One" can get past Rory MacDonald at UFC 174 in June, something that Ellenberger finds "crazy," especially when you consider what happened when Woodley beat Carlos Condit earlier this year in Dallas.
From his conversation with Submission Radio:
"I could care less about (Tyron) Woodley and the fight with Rory. They're both great guys, but I mean it's CRAZY how fast you know, things change, people's perspective change. It's like, you've got a guy like Woodley. I mean, Condit getting hurt that's disappointing, that stuff happens, but it's like, you can't give a title shot to a guy who's, you know. If I'm fighting a guy and he gets hurt in the fight, I mean I didn't beat him. I wouldn't feel good. Sure he got hurt, but I didn't submit him, I didn't knock him out."
But assuming the Strikeforce import whips "Ares" in Vancouver, there's no guarantee he'll fight Hendricks. Even if the promotion believes he's next in line, Ellenberger doesn't expect "Bigg Rigg" to be champ very long (more on that here), because he's still "developing as a fighter."
"Just to be quite honest and be frank I've just never really been impressed with Johny. Sure he's had a lot of success in the sport of wrestling, so he's very mentally strong. But at the same point he's still developing as a fighter in my opinion. I thought Robbie (Lawler) you know, when Johny can't be the bully; typically with guys who fight in that sense if they can't be the bully it's hard for them to succeed. Going into the fight, yeah I thought Robbie had a shot at winning and it was a close fight. Like I said, I've had some great take-aways for myself at fighting Johny eventually after I beat Robbie."
Sounds like the only person Ellenberger is impressed with is himself.
That's to be expected in the fight game and to his credit, "The Juggernaut" has a solid record of 29-7 with a couple of big knockouts inside the Octagon. Unfortunately, he's also had his share of stinkers, including one against MacDonald, so he needs a big win at UFC 173 to back up these statements.
Do you like his chances?