Darren Elkins took some time off after losing to Jeremy Stephens back in January, his second defeat in his past three outings. He thought the time away would help him get back on track upon his return, which came tonight (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the main card of the UFC 179: "Aldo vs. Mendes 2" pay-per-view (PPV) against Lucas Martins.
He was right, even if it was ugly as all get out.
Elkins dipped down for a takedown almost immediately. Martins fought him off, but the game plan was clear from the word go: Elkins was going to avoid his opponent's strength by testing his grappling game. He worked that well in the opening frame, though he did take some damage along the way.
Martins struggled throughout much of the second to get himself off the fence. When he did break free to create space and took his shots, he landed hard and clean with a head kick. The follow up punches drove the point home that Elkins game plan was true because, well, it was probably his only shot at winning.
Guess how the third round went?
The crowd was right back to booing thanks to Elkins pushing Martins against the fence and controlling him there. The Brazilian looked worn, failing to cut a corner or counter effectively. He consistently failed to implement his offensive game, and that led to a plodding 15-minute fight that saw him lose decisively.
Even if one of the judges somehow awarded him a 30-27 win. The other two saw it in favor of Elkins, who took home the split decision victory.
For complete UFC 179 results and coverage click here.