Come one, come all, Jake Ellenberger will not wait around for a title shot.
This Friday night (June 1, 2012), Ultimate Fighting Championship Welterweight contenders Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann will collide in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 Finale from The Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Though UFC officials have yet to confirm, the contest is considered by many to be a number one contender eliminator bout in the 170-pound division. Currently, Georges St. Pierre lays claim to the division's title, while Carlos Condit lies in wait as the interim champion.
"The Natural Born Killer" and "Rush" are expected to meet sometime this year to unify the titles, possibly at UFC 154 on Nov. 17, 2012 in Montreal, Canada.
Condit earned the right to face off against the French-Canadian by defeating Nick Diaz at UFC 143 back on Feb., 4 of this year, and he has been riding the pine ever since, choosing to preserve his title shot against St. Pierre rather than to take another fight.
Should the winner of this Friday's bout be awarded a title shot, his wait will be much longer as Johny Hendricks staked his claim as next in line by defeating Josh Koscheck decisively at UFC on Fox 3 a few weeks ago. "Big Rigg" has also stated that he will sit on the sidelines and preserve his title shot, too.
While many believe Condit's decision to wait for St. PIerre's return rather than to defend his interim strap is holding the division hostage, he is adamant that the waiting game is whats best for his career.
Ellenberger, on the other hand, is not willing to play that game, as he told ESPN:
"I've never been one to want to wait, especially when I'm doing well. The whole reason I'm in this sport is to become world champion. Getting that fight is ideal, but at the same time I don't want to sit out six months or a year."
It's rather refreshing to see a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter at the highest level prefer to stay active than to sit around and wait for a title shot. As the old adage goes, if you're good enough to be number one contender, then you should have no problem fighting all contenders along the way.
Sure, one can see the idea behind waiting, having what you worked for your entire life within reach is too hard to risk on taking another "unnecessary" fight. At the same time, there is a log jam that is being created by many's decision to wait for their chance to vie for the title, too.
Perhaps if the powers that be over at Zuffa waived their mighty hand and force its fighter to take fights, it would clear up a lot of the traffic that is slowly, but surely, building up.
Or should the competitors have the final word as to who they will fight and when?