The final UFC event of 2017 is here, with UFC 219 going down in Las Vegas on Saturday!
It was a topsy-turvy year in UFC land, with the promotion’s big International Fight Week event falling flat. MayMac also saw Seattle lose a PPV, and UFC 215 and 216 did little to capture the attention of casual fans this Fall. A strong finish to the year, however, with UFC 217 and UFC 218 both bringing the action, had things looking up — if the UFC’s annual year-end card could surpass some modest expectations.
The biggest factor was the lack of a “wow” factor. UFC 217 had it in three title fights and the return of GSP. UFC 218 had it with a pair of Fight of the Year candidates (Gaethje-Alvarez, Medeiros-Oliveira), and the deja vu brought about by Max Holloway finishing Jose Aldo again.
UFC 219? Well, a lot was being banked on Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm for the UFC’s women’s featherweight title. Still, there were a number of fights worth getting excited for — Esparza vs. Calvillo, the return of ‘The Eagle,’ and perhaps most importantly for fans of sheer violence, the return of ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Carlos Condit.
Earlier on in the card, however, came the lone UFC Fight Pass Prelim. For such a big card, it was a shame to only gift one fight to Fight Pass subscribers, but injuries did their work once again, forcing the Jimmie Rivera vs. Dominick Cruz (and then John Lineker) fight off the card. The end result was everyone else moving up. Because of that, former flyweight title challenger Tim Elliot vs. Mark De La Rosa (husband of TUF 26’s Montana Stewart, now Montana De La Rosa) was the sole Fight Pass bout.
With De La Rosa taking the bout on short notice, this one was contested at bantamweight. Elliot had originally been set to face Pietro Menga at UFC on FOX 26, but Menga, who took that bout short notice, missed weight.
After some early kicks by Tim Elliott, the former title contender shot in and easily took De La Rosa to the ground. The UFC newcomer worked a guillotine to defend, but Elliott was able to break free. Displaying a solid ground game, De La Rosa locked in a arm-bar, with Elliott staying tight to his opponent — then picking him up and slamming him down to break free. That allowed Elliott to go to work, landing a number of blows from within De La Rosa’s guard. That included some nasty elbows. Hammer fists continued as De La Rosa looked to set up another arm-bar.
Late in the first, it was Elliott with the arm-in guillotine attempt, which he used to transition to mount. In the end, round one was a dominant one for Elliott, while Mark De La Rosa was forced back to the drawing board.
Right off the bell to start round two, Tim Elliot went for an anaconda choke. Showing his prowess on the ground, a number of transitions followed, before Elliott called to the ref that his opponent bit him. The action continued regardless, and Elliott had control of his opponent’s back. In a bit of a scramble, Elliott snaked his arms around De La Rosa’s throat, wrapping him up in an anaconda choke. That got the tap, and Elliott was back in the win column.
Tim Elliott def. Mark De La Rosa by submission (anaconda choke), Round 2, 1:41