(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 Contender's Title Hopes in Jeopardy Due to Donald Trump's Travel Ban

  • 19 days ago
  • 9 views

Up until Friday, everything was going great for Gegard Mousasi's career. Long the toast of the Japanese MMA circuit, Mousasi joined the UFC in 2013. After two up-and-down years with the company, he h read news >>

The Korean Zombie, Cult Hero Brawler, Finally Returns to the UFC

  • 17 days ago
  • 23 views

After a long layoff due to injury and a mandatory two-year stint in the South Korean army, Chan Sung Jung, the Korean Zombie, finally makes his return to the UFC this Saturday for UFC Fight Night 104 read news >>

Scratched from UFC 208 due to eye issue, Luis Henrique says his career options now limited

  • 13 days ago
  • 10 views

Luis Henrique said his career options have dwindled after he was pulled from Saturday’s UFC 208 lineup. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Derek Brunson Says Anderson Silva's Losses are Due to 'Unfortunate Events' | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 11 views

Middleweight contender Derek Brunson faces former champion Anderson Silva in the UFC 208 co-main event with hopes that a win will put him back into title talk. read news >>

Two Title Fights Headline Bellator 177 in Budapest | MMAWeekly.com

  • 11 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator is returning to Hungary with a bantamweight world title fight serving as the main event of Bellator 177 from the Budapest Sports Arena. read news >>

Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell 135 title fight headlines Bellator 177 in Budapest

  • 11 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator is returning to Hungary this spring, and the bantamweight title will be on the line in Budapest. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Ian McCall Withdraws from UFC 208 Due to Illness: Latest Comments and Reaction

  • 8 days ago
  • 3 views

Flyweight Ian McCall will not fight as part of Saturday's UFC 208 card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, due to an illness. ESPN's Brett Okamoto reported the news and added that McCall we read news >>

McCall pulled from UFC 208 bout

  • 9 days ago
  • 3 views

Flyweight contender Ian McCall has been removed from tonight’s UFC 208 bout against Jarred Brooks due to illness. read news >>

Alex Volkanovski says he's off Sunday's UFC Fight Night 105 card in Halifax due to opponent issues

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

It’s only been 10 days since UFC officials announced Alex Volkanovski would be part of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 105 card in Canada. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Volkanovski-Quinones off Halifax card

  • 7 days ago
  • 0 views

Due to an injury suffered by Michel Quinones, his bout with Alexander Volkanovski has been pulled from Sunday's UFC Fight Night card at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. read news >>