As of Nov. 1, Jake Ellenberger is No. 8 in the official UFC fighter rankings, with his opponent and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum only three spots behind him. Standing in line ahead of them are a who's who of welterweights including Carlos Condit, Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler, and Tyron Woodley, just to name a few.
Ellenberger is no stranger to these names, having fought MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8 and Robbie Lawler at UFC 173 back in May. To get another chance at the top five he'll have to give the No. 11-ranked Gastelum his first loss inside the Octagon.
Ellenberger talks about whether or not he thinks about the UFC rankings:
"When you're in the top 15 or the top 10, every fight is very important. Me, myself personally, I don't pay a lot of attention to rankings, you know because it's really just a number. If you're not (above) No. 1 then you're not the champ. I like the match-up a lot, he's a tough kid, but I'm more than ready to go in there and dominate."
Ellenberger talks about his preparation for the fight and whether or not the elevation of Mexico City (7,380 feet) will make a difference for him:
"I'm going to keep myself out of any potential danger as much as possible. On the feet I want to be much more tactical, have a lot more movement. I don't ever look to get into a gunfight -- those days are over. I've been training up in the elevation (in California) too, so it's just one of those things you've got to be mentally prepared for."
Ellenberger is unsparingly honest about his performance in his last two fights, particularly against Rory MacDonald:
"The Rory fight was definitely disappointing, it was a very boring fight. I went back and watched it and fell asleep. Every fight you try to just learn to take what you can out of it and move forward. Obviously, if we fought again I would fight him completely different than I did the first time, but 20/20 hindsight, you know."
Ellenberger is working with a new online service called Hang With, and during the interview he explains how it works and what the benefits are for his fans:
"It's basically a social media platform where you can broadcast videos in the present moment. That's one thing that sets them apart from a lot of the other social media applications. You can basically follow somebody's broadcast right then and there in the moment. That's been really cool for me to show some behind-the-scenes training and just outside the gym kind of stuff. They really have a great team in place for pushing them the right direction."
Does he have any concerns that sharing live videos could reveal too much of his training camp?
"To be honest, it's really more of a personal thing. I think a lot of guys get bent out of shape about that. (Gastelum) could come in the gym and watch me train, it's not going to matter. It's not gonna really change how I fight him."
Ellenberger also talks about how his brother Joe is doing following up on his UFC debut win in San Antonio, how he's an inspiration to everybody around him, and gives his final thoughts on fighting Gastelum. A complete audio recording of our interview with Ellenberger is available HERE.
Don't miss UFC 180 live on Nov. 15, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico (more on that here). Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum will be exclusive to the PPV card. Hang With is available for all mobile devices and platforms, and you can follow Jake Ellenberger here for his live streaming videos.