Rising lightweight prospect Joe Ellenberger has finally signed with the UFC. In case you didn’t know, Joe’s twin brother is current UFC welterweight Jake Ellenburger.
Nebraska native Ellenberger has signed a four-fight deal with the promotion, he tweeted his signing earlier today. Ellenberger will make his debut with a 14-1 professional record, following back-to-back dominant wins over Jesse Zeugin and Joe Wilk.
However, Ellenberger’s road to the UFC hasn’t been an easy ride like his brother’s. In 2009, Ellenberger was diagnosed with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), which is a rare disease that destroys red blood cells. Not only was Ellenberger told he wouldn’t fight again, the twenty-eight year old was also told that he most likely wouldn’t live past 30.
Luckily for Ellenberger he found a blood disorder specialist who prescribed him a drug called Soliris. Since beginning treatment on the expensive drug, which costs over $400,000 to take annually, Ellenberger has almost made a full recovery.
He was given permission by his doctors to start competing again in 2011, since then he has extended his previous 10-0 record to an impressive 14-1. Out of 14 wins only two have come via decision. Ellenberger has also never been finished.
Joe will join his brother Jake in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization and will hope to have similar success. Jake Ellenberger has gone 8-3 in eleven Octagon appearances. In his last fight Jake was beaten by Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 8. He was scheduled to fight Tarec Saffiedine in the main event of UFC Fight Night 34 last weekend, but unfortunately he had to drop out due to injury.
A date for the smaller Ellenberger’s UFC debut has not been confirmed yet but his brother, Jake, has said he will most likely make his debut around March or April.
Who would you like to see Ellenberger fight in his Octagon debut?