By: Tracie Fortner
Joe Ellenberger is the one minute older twin brother of UFC Welterweight, Jake Ellenberger. Joe the last few years has been a fighter in life as well as in the cage.
Joe has a rare blood disease, It is called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). This disease causes the red blood cells to die and form blood clots. When he was diagnosed with this disease the doctors told him that the prognosis was not good. Most people with this disease died from either blood clots in the brain, heart or lungs. This could have ended his life as well as his career. Joe was immediately put on blood thinners and told he wouldn’t be able to participate in combat sports again.
The odds of overcoming this disease are very low, but despite these low odds Joe came back to fight again and is still fighting. His next fight is on March 2,2012 at TitanFC 21 which will be televised on HDNet Fights.
Recently I talked to Joe and here is our conversation.
Traelyn: How are you feeling these days?
Joe: I am feeling really good. Taking life and training one day at a time and taking my infusions as scheduled and living life to the fullest.
Traelyn: I am really glad you are doing well.
Traelyn: How did you get started in MMA ?
Joe: I watched a friend fight and became a fan. The more I watched the more interested I became and started training and the rest is history.
Traelyn: Who is your biggest influence?
Joe: My twin brother Jake! He is quiet and confident. He sets an example with his work ethic. It is always good to see someone that has influence over others without using words. He is a leader by example.
Traelyn: What inspires you?
Joe: Knowing that God is the creator, and that there is a better life in the hereafter and making the best of the life I am living now. My family! They see me and have high expectations for me, and people that have been through adversity.
Traelyn: What is your biggest accomplishment?
Joe: Being a part of a team that won an NCAA wrestling championship despite adversity. We pulled together and won it despite the fact no one thought we would or could do it. We proved them wrong!
Traelyn: When and where was your first fight?
Joe: Omaha, Nebraska April 9. 2005
Traelyn: What was your first walkout song ?
Joe: Right Now by Korn
Traelyn: What’s some of your favorite music to listen to while working out ?
Joe: Rage Against The Machine, Rocky Soundtrack, AC/DC to name a few.
Traelyn: Why do you choose the songs that you choose for your walkout songs and what significance do they have to you?
Joe: During training we listen to a lot of songs. The significance of the song is that it sticks in my head and helps me to think of everything i have learned.
Traelyn: Do you think your choice of walkout songs could change your fans opinion of you?
Joe: I don’t really think you will lose fans because of because of your choice of walkout songs. If anything you might gain some fans.
Traelyn: When and where is your next fight?
Joe: March 2, 2012 Titan FC 21 in Kansas City, Kansas. I will be fighting against Jesse Zeugin. The fight will be televised on HDNet.
I just want to thank Joe for taking time out of his busy training schedule to talk to me. I am looking forward to seeing big things happen for for such a great guy!