Flyweight action on the UFC 272 early preliminary card saw former title challenger Tim Elliott up against formidable Dagestani Tagi Ulanbekov — who had won both of his UFC contests to date.
Elliott had seen a two-fight win streak snapped in his last outing against Matheus Nicolau, and was looking to get back in the win column.
He’d succeed in the end, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
After a touch of the gloves, a spinning kick from Elliott started the fight. Elliott landed a low kick, and Ulanbekov landed a right hand. One minute into the fight and Elliott landed a takedown on Ulanbekov. The fighters got their feet, and a fired-up Elliot screamed “C’mon.” Ulanbekov landed a punch that stunned Elliott. Elliott landed some low kicks and then landed another takedown. Ulanbekov got right back up, and a few seconds later, Elliott landed the third takedown of the round. The referee stopped the action to warn Elliott about his fingers. One minute left, and Ulanbekov landed a right hand, and Elliott landed his own hook. Thirty seconds left, and Elliott landed a hook that dropped Ulanbekov. Elliott chased after him and landed a knee as Ulanbekov returned to his feet.
Round two started Elliott landing another overhand left. Elliott stuffed Ulanbekov’s takedown. A minute into the round, both fighters exchanged combos, and then Ulanbekov landed his first takedown. Elliott got back to his feet, and Ulanbekov went for another takedown, but Elliott scrambled. With half the round left, Elliott shot for a takedown, but Ulanbekov stuffed it and put Elliott against the fence. Elliott reversed a takedown from Ulanbekov and almost landed in full mount. The fighters got to their feet, and they clinched. With less than a minute left, Ulanbekov put Elliot against the fence. Ulanbekov shot for a takedown to end the round.
Round three started with Elliott walking down Ulanbekov, landing some body shots. Both fighters exchanged punches right in the middle of the cage. Ninety seconds in, and Ulanbekov clinched with Elliott landing knees. Ulanbekov shot for a takedown, and Elliott stuffed it; however, Ulanbekov put him against the fence. Two minutes left, and Ulanbekov had Elliott’s back in the clinch, landing knees. Ulanbekov jumped Elliott’s back and locked on a rear-naked choke, but Elliot defended. The final minute and a half was Ulanbekov landing ground and pound from Elliott’s back.
Official Result: Tim Elliott def. Tagir Ulanbekov by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)