(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

UFC Hamburg Bout Nixed from Saturday’s Fight Card Due to Injury

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

One of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 93 preliminary bouts has been cancelled due to injury. read news >>

Augusto Montano Second UFC Fighter at No-Fault in Anti-Doping Case Due to Tainted Meat

  • 26 days ago
  • 18 views

Augusto Montano on Wednesday became the second UFC fighter to recently be found at no-fault of an anti-doping violation due to contaminated meat. read news >>

Nik Lentz Gets New UFC 203 Opponent After Mairbek Taisumov Pulled

  • 24 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC lightweight Nik Lentz has a new UFC 203 opponent after Mairbek Taisumov was pulled from the card due to visa issues. read news >>

McCall-Borg Off UFC 203 Card

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

Due to illness, flyweight contender Ray Borg has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 203 bout against Ian McCall on Saturday. read news >>

Miocic vs. Overeem: UFC 203 Odds, Predictions and Pre-Fight Twitter Hype

  • 18 days ago
  • 10 views

With all due respect to CM Punk and Mickey Gall, UFC 203 is all about Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem. Saturday night will see Miocic try to defend his UFC heavyweight title against Overeem, who is read news >>

UFC Statement on CB Dollaway

  • 18 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC announced that CB Dollaway has had to withdraw from his scheduled bout at UFC 203 due to an injury he suffered last night as a result of an elevator accident at a hotel in Cleveland. read news >>

Ronda Rousey Fought Chael Sonnen? Sonnen Tells the True Tale | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago
  • 51 views

Chael Sonnen, who is returning to the fight game in 2016 with Bellator, tells the tale of the time he and Ronda Rousey allegedly fought in a restaurant. read news >>

Return of the American Gangster: Chael Sonnen Opens Up About Move to Bellator

  • 11 days ago
  • 29 views

Chael Sonnen had every intention of returning to the UFC. Until he didn’t. Whatever the reason, one of the UFC’s most controversial, entertaining and bankable figures over the past seven years found read news >>

Gian Villante Injured, Off UFC New York Fight Card | MMAWeekly.com

  • 6 days ago
  • 5 views

Gian Villante has been forced off of the UFC 205 fight card due to injury. read news >>

Yves Edwards: If you're Lina Lansberg, fight 'Cyborg' the way she's already lost

  • 3 days ago
  • 17 views

UFC commentator and retired fighter Yves Edwards isn’t about to make a bold upset prediction in the case of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 95 headliner. Filed under: MMAjunkie Radio, News, UFC, Videos read news >>