UFC Vegas 53: Darren Elkins Says “When You Stop Learning, You’re Pretty Much Done Fighting”

Las Vegas, NV — Darren Elkins isn’t the oldest fighter on the UFC Vegas 53 card, but at 37, the featherweight has certainly seen and done a lot.

But despite 15 years as a professional fighter, Elkins (26-10) is an old dog still learning new tricks.

“I find the part that I still love about the game is that you can add different things, and go from one thing to another game,” he said during the UFC Vegas 53 media day this week. “If you looked at my career from the beginning, the things I’ve done there to what I do now, it’s totally different. It’s a learning process, you keep on learning and I think when you stop learning, you’re pretty much done fighting.”

“I enjoy learning new things, working on different things and seeing what I can do with myself,” he added.

Elkins gets a fresh challenge this Saturday in Las Vegas, sort of. Opponent Tristan Connelly is a fighter he sees much of himself in.

“He fights a lot like me. He’s going to come forward, he’s not afraid to stand up, he’s not afraid to grapple. He pushes a hard pace. Like I said he fights a lot like me. I watched him, I’m like ‘okay, this is gonna be a fun one,” observed Elkins. “Maybe possibly a Fight of the Night type of thing. If not, I’m fine with that too.”

That said, Elkins never sets out for Fight of the Night. “Performance of the Night, now that’s one— yeah I can kind of shoot for Performance of the Night. But Fight of the Night, that’s one that, if it happens it happens, but I never want to shoot for it.”

He also pays no attention to the odds — in this case, Elkins is a slight favorite over Canada’s Connelly.

“Nah, I’ve never paid attention to that my whole entire life. I usually like it when I’m the underdog, usually I have the most wins as the underdog. It’s nothing I really care about,” he told Cageside Press on Wednesday.

Watch the full UFC Vegas 53 media day appearance from Darren Elkins above. The event takes place this Saturday, April 30, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. More coverage can be found below.