UFC 172 is set to be light-heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones’s first trip back to the Octagon since his epic clash with Alexander Gustafsson, back at last September’s UFC 165 card in Toronto.
The April 26th Baltimore, Maryland event, is to be headlined by Jones and as he defends his title against the number two ranked contender and hard hitting, Glover Teixeira. The co-main fight of the evening is to be a match that features (respectively) number five and nine ranked welterweights Jake Ellenberger and Tarec Saffiedine, as they battle it out to see which of them climbs into contender status and which takes a tumble down the rankings ladder.
Yesterday, the UFC announced that newly signed lightweight Joe ‘Excalibur’ Ellenberger, twin brother of Jake Ellenberger, has been assigned to the spring 172 event and as such, will join his brother as one of the fighters featured on the night’s card.
The 14 – 1 fighter was originally signed to the UFC in 2009 (10 – 0 at the time), however, Excalibur was subsequently diagnosed with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare, life threatening diseases that destroys the red blood cells, and resultantly, he was not capable of entering the promotion.
Now, with the dark days behind him and riding a two fight winning streak (3 – 1 since 2011), Ellenberger is ready to take up the UFC’s Octagon challenge and join his brother in the senior promotion. Truly, if you’re a fan of heartwarming stories then it really doesn’t get any better than this one; great news for Excalibur and the whole Ellenberger family.
As to his opponent for the evening, Ellenberger will be taking on fellow lightweight Yancy ‘Frisson’ Medeiros. Frisson is 1 – 1 in the UFC and 10 – 1 overall and coming off of his first win in the brand; a round one KO of Yves Edwards at last November’s “UFC Fight Night 31 – Fight for the Troops 3.” Medeiros has an 80% finishing record through his eleven professional fights, with seven of his stoppages coming by way of T/KO.
As such, he will stand as a formidable test for Ellenberger and his own 89% finishing rate and subsequently, a good first opponent for Excalibur’s inagural showing in the senior circuit.