(photo courtesy of Joe Ellenberger)

For Joe “Excalibur” Ellenberger, just being able to fight in 2011 was a big accomplishment.

Upon being diagnosed with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare blood disorder, Ellenberger spent nearly two years away from the sport before returning last year, going 2-1 in the process.

“It was a good year for me just to be able to get back to competition and training full time,” said Ellenberger. “That was something that was actually pretty much in limbo whether or not I’d be able to do it again. And so I think that was just awesome to do it again.

“It was a little bit different because of the way my body was going through changes and having to work in doctor visits every two weeks into my schedule. It’s a process, and getting through it is the biggest part probably.”

While Ellenberger is pleased to be back fighting again, he told MMAWeekly.com that fight performances are still in need of tweaking.

“It’s not up to par for my standards quite yet, but it’s all right,” he said. “The first couple (of fights) my training staff and I knew they were more like a work in progress, rather than a peaking moment. That being said, some of the stuff was good, some of it was bad.

“My last fight (against Justin Salas in a losing effort) was probably my worst performance. Justin is a good opponent, but making that weight cut the first time and not doing a trial cut really hurt. Having a five-round fight, rather than a three-rounder was tough. But we’re always making changes to be better.”

Salas has since made a successful debut at UFC on Fuel TV 1.

Ellenberger will next get a chance to test out his changes against fellow former NCAA Division-II wrestler Jesse Zeugin at Titan FC 21 on Friday night in Kansas City. The event also airs live on HDNet.

“I have a little more fights and more experience, and being able to train a lot of different places gives me an edge,” said Ellenberger. “Obviously, we’re going to be in his home state and he’ll have the crowd in his favor, but it’s fine. Just having the edge in experience and in stand-up and being in the game longer than him will make me better suited for this fight.”

Considering his health situation, Ellenberger is learning to take things step-by-step as he rebuilds his career. But that doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have lofty goals for himself.

“I kind of want to take it fight by fight for my health reasons, because I’m never sure when they’re going to pull the plug or make me sit out, but my main goal is to get back to the UFC and improve my performances and move up,” he said.

Last year Ellenberger could be seen as just happy to return to the sport he loves, but in 2012, his outlook is different.

“Getting back that killer instinct is definitely fueling a lot of my fire,” he said. “Being back is great, but I guess I’m over that hump and now I’m shooting for bigger and better things.”

E-mail Mick Hammond
For more UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Eddie Alvarez says McGregor 'not getting the big boy belt' at UFC 205: 'There is no Santa Claus'

  • 27 days ago

Eddie Alvarez isn’t backing down to Conor McGregor ahead of their champion vs. champion main event on the historic UFC 205 fight card later this year.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

BJ Penn out of return fight due to injury, UFC seeking replacement

  • 23 days ago

B.J. Penn out of his fight with Ricardo Lamas. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 97 to be rescheduled following injury to B.J. Penn

  • 22 days ago

The UFC will not be returning to the Philippines this month.According to a report from FloCombat, the UFC willre-scheduleUFC Fight Night 97, which was expected to go down on October 15 at the Mall of read news >>

Now Anderson Silva is 'very upset' with the UFC: 'I don't get people's due respect'

  • 22 days ago

Add former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to the list of Brazilian fighters upset with the promotion.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC vet Gerald Harris ends retirement, fights Aaron Cobb in Legacy FC 63 headliner

  • 21 days ago

Gerald Harris is returning from a three-year layoff – and he’s doing it in a hometown headliner.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News read news >>

Bisping vs. Henderson official, UFC 204 loses a fight due to weight cutting disaster

  • 21 days ago

UFC 204 is down to 11 bouts after a fight was cancelled during the weigh-ins read news >>

Justin Gaethje vs. Ozzy Dugulubgov WSOF 33 Main Event Canceled | MMAWeekly.com

  • 21 days ago

Friday night's World Series of Fighting 33 main event has been canceled due to medical concerns. read news >>

Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef Championship Rematch Headlines Bellator 168 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago

Bellator is returning to Italy with an MMA main event that will feature Rafael Carvalho and Melvin Manhoef in a championship rematch. read news >>

Trading Shots: Will Michael Bisping ever get his due from MMA fans?

  • 18 days ago

With his first title defense out of the way, has Michael Bisping finally convinced MMA fans to accept him as the UFC middleweight champion? Or are some impressions hard to shake, even in the face of read news >>

Leonardo Santos hopes UFC 204 win lands him fight with Michael Chiesa

  • 18 days ago

Leonardo Santos’ victory over Adriano Martins isn’t likely to stick in the minds of the fans who tuned in for the early UFC 204 prelims. However, he’s hoping the victory will launch him into a fight read news >>