RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jake Ellenberger wants to get back "in the mix" in the UFC, and he hopes to be part of the UFC 168 fight card on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.
Two months after what he called a "frustrating" night against Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8, Ellenberger expects to fight someone from the top 10 to get closer again to a shot at the UFC title.
"Nothing's set yet, we’re still negotiating options, but sounds like that I definitely will be fighting before the end of the year," Ellenberger told MMAFighting.com during a trip in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "Hopefully in Vegas on the Dec. 28 card."
Martin Kampmann is one of the few UFC welterweights not scheduled to fight at the moment, and a chance to avenge that 2012 loss sounds a good idea to Ellenberger.
"I'm just looking for someone one the top 10," he said. "(Kampmann) is a good possibility right now. That’s something I'd definitely look forward to. UFC hasn’t offered me yet so I just have to wait. I'm always highly motivated to fight. I’m excited be back in there against a top 10 opponent."
Ellenberger was closer to a title shot in 2012, but Kampmann broke his six-fight win streak with a second-round TKO. "The Juggernaut" returned to the win column with a unanimous decision victory over Jay Hieron, followed by a first-round destruction of Nate Marquardt, but a loss to Rory MacDonald pushed him down the rankings.
"It was very frustrating for me, I wasn’t myself," he said. "I had to deal with some stuff, some training issues and small injuries, but everybody has to deal with this stuff so it was just frustrating."
Despite targeting a fight at UFC 168, Ellenberger welcomes the idea of fighting in Brazil in the future.
The UFC welterweight is in Brazil for a recent tour of seminars in Ribeirao Preto, Florianopolis and Rio de Janeiro, and he believes he will eventually compete there – probably against a Brazilian.
"It's my third time here, I love Brazil," he said. "I have a lot of friends here too. Great food, great beaches, great people. I prefer to be here more on vacation, but… I figure eventually I'm going to face one (Brazilian), and I wouldn’t mind fighting in Brazil. I love Rio, it's one of my favorite places in the world. I love the people, love the culture."