Jake Ellenberger may have been hoping for a rematch with Martin Kampmann next, but it looks as though the UFC’s #4 ranked welterweight could be facing another decorated vet instead.
According to a report by MMA Junkie.com, sources have informed the outlet that Ellenberger is expected to fight former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine on January 4th. The bout will headline the UFC’s first trip to Singapore, which hasn’t had a venue officially confirmed just yet.
Saffiedine (14-3) hasn’t fought since January, when the highly regarded striker picked apart Nate Marquardt for five rounds to win Strikeforce’s welterweight belt. The victory was the Belgian fighter’s fourth straight, as “Sponge” scored decision victories over Scott Smith, Tyler Stinson and Roger Bowling to earn a title shot.
The 27 year-old was scheduled to fight Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 8 this past July, but Saffiedine had to withdraw due to an injury.
Ellenberger (29-7) is looking to rebound from the UD loss he incurred versus Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8, which followed a KO victory over Marquardt and a decision win over Jay Hieron. The 28 year-old is 3-2 in his last five bouts, with his only other loss during that stretch coming versus Kampmann (thus the wish for a rematch).
So, if indeed this fight ends up happening, it will be a big fight for both. Ellenberger needs a victory to stay in the title shot mix, while Saffiedine is looking to make a big splash in his UFC debut.
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