Exclusive | Daniel Zellhuber is preparing for ‘complete fighter’ Trey Ogden ahead of UFC debut: “I’m going to do whatever it takes”

Daniel Zellhuber
Mandatory Credit: Combate Global

UFC lightweight Daniel Zellhuber will be making his UFC debut on Sept. 17 at UFC Vegas 60. The Mexico native earned a roster spot on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) last September. After a year-long layoff, Zellhuber will be looking to make an impact against LFA alumni Trey Ogden.

Zellhuber (12-0) is undefeated inside the octagon. He has fought for Combate Global, Lux Fight League and iKon Fighting Federation. 

Before stepping into the UFC octagon for the first time, Zellhuber spoke with LowKick MMA’s Alex Behunin about training at Xtreme Couture, his plans post-layoff, and his fight prediction.

Originally training in Mexico, Zellhuber decided to have his training camp at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. He believes the gym brings a new perspective to his training. It also allows him to be close to the UFC Performance Institute (PI). 

READ MORE:  Chael Sonnen warns Jon Jones of 'something new & dangerous' in a potential fight with Stipe Miocic

“I feel that Xtreme Couture, as a gym, has settled pretty good with me because we have a lot of different guys here. The good part about being here is that almost everyone is bigger than me so that helped me develop my strength. Working with bigger people is something I’m not used to doing in Mexico.”

“We think for this moment in my career, Xtreme Couture with the coaches that are here, with Eric [Nicksick] that has put me under his wing…all the stuff that I can have here in Vegas, the PI… [Xtreme Couture] is the best gym to be at this point of my career so I think I still have a lot of room to grow and I just keep getting better here so it’s a great place.”

Daniel Zellhuber Is Back

After earning a UFC contract on DCWS in 2021, Zellhuber took a year-long layoff from fighting. The 23-year-old hopes to be more active going forward in his career but doesn’t plan on rushing anything. 

READ MORE:  Joe Rogan describes moment that inspired him to explore MMA; 'it was humiliating'

“The plan right now is to have maybe two, three fights in a year depending on how I feel in the fights and how I end the fights… My idea is to finish fights and I’m pretty confident I have the abilities…but I don’t want to rush. Lightweight is the toughest division in the UFC, it’s no secret. I just don’t want to rush because I know that I still have a lot of room to grow.”

Zellhuber will be facing Trey Ogden, who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Ogden (15-5) also made an appearance last year on DWCS, where he secured a second-round submission to earn a spot in the UFC. The 32-year-old is coming off a split-decision loss against Jordan Leavitt in April. 

READ MORE:  Reza Madadi defends teammate Khamzat Chimaev following UFC 279 weight miss criticism from Khabib Nurmagomedov

Zellhuber believes Ogden is a big test for his introduction in the UFC. He wants to earn a finish in the UFC Apex but won’t be disappointed if the fight goes the distance. 

“I’ve been studying the guy [for] almost three months… he has [a] good background, he has good jiu jitsu, good wrestling like he’s a complete fighter. It’s a good challenge for me.”

“I want to knock him out, I want to finish the fight eventually… I know that I have the power, I’d like to knock him out. If that’s not possible, a submission or even decision. I’m not going to that fight aiming for a bonus, I want to win. I’m going to do whatever it takes.”

Marc Ray has lived his entire life in Houston, Texas, where he was born, raised and attended the University of Houston, studying broadcast journalism. As you may imagine, he spends much of his time watching mixed martial arts as part of his daily routine — not only to pump himself up, but also because he deeply enjoys the sport. Ray has worked for Houston Public Media, where he interned in the newsroom and produced community stories. Ray also created sports features in Houston for El Gato Media Network and occasionally produced content for an internship at AARP.