Following UFC Lincoln, Bryan Barberena told reporters that he knew Jake Ellenberger would retire following their fight. And he has a couple of names in mind for his next opponent.
Lincoln, NB — Bryan Barberena made his return from injury and a loss to Leon Edwards at UFC Lincoln. Heading into enemy territory against hometown hero Jake Ellenberger, the fight couldn’t have gone any better for ‘Bam Bam,’ one of three MMA Lab fighters on the UFC Fight Night 135 card. Barberena finished Ellenberger within a round, sending the longtime welterweight contender off into the sunset, as ‘The Juggernaut’ retired following the bout.
That’s the circle of life in the MMA world, however. And while the door closes on Ellenberger’s career, Barberena improves to 4-3 in the UFC, and 14-5 overall. Coincidentally, Barberena also holds a TKO win over Jake Ellenberger’s brother Joe in the UFC. MMA is funny like that.
Speaking to reporters after the fight, ‘Bam Bam’ said that “I was happy with it. I’ve been out for a while. I knew I was going to bounce back right away and be good in the cage. I’ve had long layoffs before earlier in my career, and never had a problem with it. I fought every day when I went into the gym, I’m in there with tough guys. No different.”
The win, meanwhile, went mostly according to plan. “I honestly pictured a starch, KO finish, but hey, a TKO works, and I’m happy with it.”
Opponent Jake Ellenberger, who Barberena quickly finished, retired after the bout. It’s not something that Barberena was really concerned with either way. “It doesn’t matter. I knew this was going to be his last fight,” Barberena said. “He was kind of on his way out, I knew that, he was on a skid and everything. The fact that I was the guy he would fight next, I knew he was going to be retiring afterward.”
He had some kind words for his vanquished foe, however. “I wish him the best of luck in pursing future ventures, and I know he’s going to be successful in whatever he decides to do. He’s done a lot for this sport, and I just respect the hell out of him. It was an honor to fight him.”
Looking ahead, Barberena singled out two fighters he’d love to get in the cage with: Mike Perry or Donald Cerrone. “Either one of those, I’d love that fight,” the MMA Labs fighter said. However, both are tied up at the moment, so that might have to wait. Which might work out in the end, as, citing a back issue, Barberena might need a bit of time to heal up.
Watch the full post-fight press scrum with Bryan Barberena from UFC Lincoln above!