Flyweight Tim Elliott plans to go on one last run in the reinvigorated 125lb division before his time in the sport comes to a close.
Former UFC flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott returns to action at UFC 246, where he takes on Askar Askarov. The card, of course, will have a lot of eyes on it thanks to the main event of Conor McGregor vs. Cowboy Cerrone.
Elliott (15-9-1) features on the preliminary card, and goes up against the undefeated Askarov coming off what essentially was a title eliminator. As Elliott explained to Cageside Press this week, “I knew that [Henry] Cejudo wasn’t going to come back down to 25, so I called out the highest-ranked guy that I could. I thought that if I could beat [Deiveson] Figueiredo I would get an automatic title fight. Well I lost to Figueiredo, so he’s getting the title fight with Joe B. So I kind of screwed that up.”
That fight went down at UFC Tampa back in October. The loss led the 33-year old Elliott to Askarov.
“I started looking at guys, like who’s my next best bet to get in and get somebody good,” Elliott stated. “This guy’s 11-0. His first fight in the UFC, I thought that he lost to Brandon Moreno. They called it a draw. The guys that he’s fought, they’re all good record guys, all older guys. It should be a good stylistic fight. He’s kind of boring, that’s one thing that worries me. But you know I asked for this fight, and I asked for the last fight.”
Pointing out that he’d asked for opponents with stellar records, Elliott explained the thought process behind asking for nothing but tough outs. “I want to get these good dudes that are younger. If they can’t beat me, then they don’t deserve to be fighting for the belt,” he said. “I’m looking like I’m on my way out, so this is my last little run. I want to beat the best guys that I can while I’m still in.”
The NCAA Division II All-American’s observation that Askarov is “kind of boring” is certainly a concern, he later noted, because at 125lbs, excitement is key. “As a flyweight that’s the only way to make any money. You’ve got to get that bonus check.”
After all, there was a time where a number of UFC flyweights were cut — good quality fighters — with the UFC on the brink of shuttering the division. How things have changed.
“Honestly it’s the best time ever to be a flyweight,” exclaimed Elliott. “Because Cejudo’s not going down right now unless he loses at 35, then he might come back down. But you’ve got Joe B., he’s been in there forever, he’s a true flyweight. He’s getting a chance to fight for the belt. Like you said, they fired a bunch of guys, well they rehired a bunch of those guys. Now there’s a bunch of foreigners in there.”
“Right now there’s more noise for the flyweight division than there ever has been,” Elliott continued. “It’s the best time to be a flyweight right now.” That’s something that has helped Tim Elliott regain his own focus. “My kind of aspirations and goals of being a UFC champ had kind of subsided a little bit until this happened with Cejudo. Now Joe B., my teammate and training partner, he’s getting a chance to fight for the belt. It’s kind of lit a new fire with the division, so I feel like right now is the best time to be a flyweight ever.”
The next step for Elliott, a strong showing at UFC 246. And a bit of good luck on the way. The fighter and his partner, fellow UFC fighter Gina Mazany, were involved in a close call recently. “We were both in a hit and run car accident the other day, we both got whiplash, so we’re suffering a little bit. Having a sore neck.” Luckily, however, nothing more than that. His daughter had just left the car. With the cops never finding the other driver, insurance has been a nightmare, said Elliott, but “I’ll be ready by the time the fight rolls around. And even if I’m not, I can fight for fifteen minutes no matter what.”
Don’t miss Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov at UFC246, going down live January 18, 2020 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.