25 Questions With Jake Ellenberger
- How did you first get your start in fighting?
- My first exposure to MMA was from my brother, Joe. He was a Tito Ortiz fan while he was wrestling. I went to a live event to watch a buddy of mine fight at a local casino; I was fascinated with the sport after going to this event. The main event, Josh Neer VS Spencer Fisher, is to this day, one of the best fights that I've ever seen!
- Who are some of the fighters that you admired or admire most?
- I've met so many people that I admire, not only in this sport, but in the sport of wrestling, and coaches I've worked with. I would say my brother Joe, who has showed me how to compete and has worked through so much adversity in his life. My Dad has always been someone I've looked up to. One of my coaches Mike Denney has been an amazing person to get to work with. As far as fighters, I would say BJ Penn has been one of the guys I've admired for a long time. I've gotten to know him personally and we've became good friends. Mark Munoz is also a guy I've looked up to; he is a great leader and brings out the best in people!
Do you have much of an amateur background?
I don't have a big amateur background; I think I've fought twice as an amateur. When I started fighting, there was not a large amateur circuit in the Midwest. It was more "Hey do you want to fight?"
Who are you currently being trained by?
I have some people that have been with me since day 1, which is my twin brother, Joe Ellenberger, Riley Ross who is my strength & conditioning coach, and Scott Morton and Rodrigo Vaghi for BJJ. My boxing coach is Carlos Ruffo. Currently for MMA, Mark Munoz has been one of my coaches for the last 2 years as well as World Renowned Muay Thai coach, Rafael Cordiero.
What does a typical day of training look like for you?
I usually train twice every day during the week and add some runs in the evenings; typically 10-12 Pro practice at Reign as well as a boxing or drilling workout (BJJ/Wrestling) in the evening.
The durations usually get longer beginning at week six until about two weeks before a fight. Then, we start to taper down. I also do Muay Thai twice a week and then spar at Kings MMA with Rafael Cordiero.
Who are some people you have fought against?
I have fought against some great fighters. In the UFC I've competed against Mike Pyle, John Howard, Jake Sheilds, Diego Sanchez, Martin Kampmann and Jay Heiron, and soon George St Pierre.
How would you describe your fighting style?
My hands are like CIA missiles on espresso when I fight.
What is the edge that you feel you have over your competition?
The edge I have is knowing that I can beat anyone in the world at 170 pounds. That's enough for me!
How would you describe the feeling of winning your first UFC fight?
Winning a competition is almost like a drug, temporarily you feel great but it doesn't last long. There is plenty of room at the top, just nowhere to sit down.
If not a fighter, what occupation do you think you would be in?
I would be a Pilot.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
I've won some titles but to be honest, nothing yet has been satisfying enough for me. When I win UFC gold, is when I'll be satisfied.
How many years have you been fighting for?
I've been fighting for 7 and a half years. My first fight was April 9, 2005.
Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?
I'd rather sharp shoot them with my hands so they find a comfortable spot to take a short canvas nap!
What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
I think fighting is a good way to look at life. I fight for what I want, what I believe in, and I never give up. It's a hard lifestyle, but my reason to fight is bigger than the thousands of reasons why I would ever want to quit.
What would be your ultimate achievement?
Winning the UFC World Title. It's a lifetime achievement and I have sacrificed so much to get there.
What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
In my career, I've had more obstacles than I can type. But my greatest challenges are out of my control, but I have faith in God that he will manage what I cannot control.
What is your diet like?
I am a big fan of meat; I grew up in the Midwest raised on cattle and chicken. As I am getting older and because I am also an athlete, I am more conscious as to what I am putting in my body. I like to eat natural and organic food as much as possible. I've had a lot of success with a company called Vega, an all-natural, gluten free company with plant based supplements. Vega was created by Branden Brazier a triathlete who has been very successful with his meals and books behind the brand Vega.
What 1-2 things do you believe differentiates you from your competition?
Heart, I have a burning desire and a passion to be the best.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Actions speak louder than words.
Who was your role model growing up? (who is your biggest inspiration)
I had quite a few in my family. My Uncle Stu was one of my best friends that I looked up to, who passed away when I was 14. My dad was also one of my biggest supporters growing up. My grandma was an amazing woman who really showed us compassion and how to treat people.
What's your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
I like body shots and elbows when striking! Submission would be a Darce choke!
Is there another fighter whom you really want to fight?
Right now I'd like to fight Johnny Hendricks or anybody who will get me to the world title!
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
A champion and one of the best fighters ever, in the welterweight division.
How has Lunarpages helped you as a sponsor?
Lunarpages has been great. I've made some good, personal friends, and they are a very professional and honest company to work with. They have always showed me outstanding support in my MMA Career. I am honored to be partnered with Lunarpages because they are a company of integrity and have diligent hard working people, which is the kind of people I want to be surrounded by.
Anything else you want to let us know?
I am a former United States Marine, and as an Ambassador for the UFC, I am proud to work with such great people from Lunarpages! Thank you all for the support!