BOISE, Idaho – Your guess is as good as his when it comes to Darren Elkins’ placement on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 133 preliminary card.
More than eight years of UFC experience? A six-fight winning streak? Two fight-night bonuses in his past three fights? The 2017 Comeback of the Year? And the type of fighting style and never-quit attitude that’s earned him the respect of fans and fellow fighters alike?
Yeah, that seems like a main-card-worthy fighter if ever there were one.
Instead, Darren Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, meets rankings honorable mention and fast-rising contender Alex Volkanovski (17-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) on the FS1-televised of UFC Fight Night 133 preliminary card, which takes place at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
So why wasn’t Elkins given a spot on the FS1-televised main card? Sure, it airs on the same channel as the prelims anyway, but shouldn’t the 34-year-old vet get a higher-profile slot?
“I mean, I really don’t know,” Elkins told MMAjunkie when asked about his placement on the card. “I really didn’t like think I’d be on the prelims, but I’m not even going to sweat about it.
“I’m a big believer of if you focus on negative things, negative things are going to happen to you.”
After all, a fighter he recently beat – Dennis Bermudez – is on the main card this weekend. But Elkins said he’s not going to sweat it. He’s got enough else to worry about.
“I just need to focus on Saturday and fighting, and we’ll work out the rest later,” he said.
Elkins’ prime concern, he said, is that it’s hard to argue for a title shot from the preliminary card. But a good performance might take care of that.
“I’m going to be in a big fight,” he said. “The championship fight is coming. I’m just going to stay focused on my task at hand, and good things will happen to me.”
Ideally, that would be a seventh straight win and a long-awaited UFC title shot. To get to this point, Elkins thanked his new teammates and coaches at Team Alpha Male. He also quit his pipefitting job to focus solely on MMA, which helped his recent resurgence. He also points to the UFC’s expanded drug testing in recent years.
“USADA changed the game too,” he said. “I’ve always been a clean fighter. I never had to use anything, so now everyone is on a fair playing field, and that’s another really beneficial thing for me.”
For more on Elkins, including his thoughts on the UFC featherweight title picture and what could be next if victorious in Boise, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Wait, why is Darren Elkins on the UFC Boise preliminary card?