Welcome to the UFC: Evan Elder

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Preston Parsons and Evan Elder, UFC Vegas 52
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 22: (L-R) Opponents Preston Parsons and Evan Elder face off during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on April 22, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 52 is headlined by a pivotal women’s strawweight fight between Amanda Lemos and former champ Jessica Andrade. The fight card has taken a few hits, with a total of six fight cancellations. One was in a welterweight fight between Preston Parsons and Louis Cosce. Cosce tested positive for COVID-19 and new Evan Elder steps in on short notice.

Evan “The Phenom” Elder
Standing at 5’9″
Fighting at 155 lbs (lightweight)
25-years-old
Fighting out of Deerfield Beach, Florida, US
Training out of Sanford MMA
A pro record of 7-0
4 KO/TKOs, 1 Submission

How will Elder do in the UFC:

Elder is a good signing for the UFC. He’s been in some fun fights, had a few good finishes, and has fought to a 7-0 undefeated record. He was supposed to fight for the FAC title coming up against former UFC fighter Cody Pfister. It would’ve been better to have him get a good win on his resume plus a title before coming to the UFC, but the opportunity arose.

Elder started off his career primarily as a grappler. Lately, he’s grown much more comfortable mixing it up on the feet. Elder does a great job of mixing up his attack and using different combinations. His kicks are arguably his best weapon on the feet. He’ll switch it up going to the legs and body and throws kicks very well at the end of combinations. Defensively there is some concern as he hasn’t really been tested. At times his head sits on the center line and he will bring his hands back to his face too slow after throwing. It seems like a good striker will be able to effectively counter Elder.

Elder is a strong physical wrestler and is well-rounded on the mat. His control and ground and pound are what stand out. He actively looks to improve his position and always stays busy trying to finish the fight. Elder is still very raw because he really hasn’t been tested. There is a lot of things he hasn’t seen yet in the cage. At the same time, he does have more experience compared to a lot of the newer guys the UFC brings in. I think Elder does really well in the UFC but it may be a few years until he really hits the ground running.

How he matches up with Parsons:

Parsons didn’t look too good in his debut. Some may forget though it was on short notice, and he fought Daniel Rodriguez which is a very tough fight. I’m really high on Parsons and in a lot of ways he mirrors the style of Elder. Both are strong wrestlers and grapplers. Elder is far more comfortable on the feet but Parsons can probably match anything on the feet. If Elder has one big advantage it is activity as he’s always staying busy. Elder is moving up a weight class in this fight and being against a strong wrestler like Parsons, it will be tough. Parsons is the better wrestler and has a better overall ground game. I think the size, wrestling, and grappling of Parsons will be too much.

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