While more talent continues to rise the ranks of the UFC flyweight division, veteran campaigner Tim Elliott has remained an ever-present in the mix.
And on the back of consecutive victories over Tagir Ulanbekov last March at UFC 272 and Victor Altamirano this past June at UFC Vegas 74, the 36-year-old Kansas native is next tasked with stalling the surge of one of the most highly touted 125lbers in recent memory.
In the featured prelim of Saturday’s UFC 294 pay-per-view, Elliott will share the Octagon with Muhammad Mokaev. The Dagestani-born Brit, who joined the promotion in 2021 following decorated amateur career, has won all four of his Octagon outings to date.
Having risen to within one place of the top 10, Mokaev must now get past Elliott if he’s to keep his hopes of a record-breaking championship crowning at the age of 23 early next year alive.
Elliott, however, certainly won’t go down easy, and the 32-fight MMA vet expects to bring a skillset yet to be seen by “The Punisher” inside the cage.
Elliott Plans To ‘Make Mokaev’ Work In Grappling Exchanges
During a recent fight week interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Elliott looked ahead to his second appearance under the UFC banner this year and assessed how he matches up against the man he’ll stand across from in Abu Dhabi tomorrow.
Despite many, including the likes of former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, touting Mokaev for championship success down the line, Elliott is confident that he can delay any rise towards the gold by spoiling the youngster’s plans at the Etihad Arena.
“He’s impressive. He’s young. He’s strong. He’s a good wrestler,” Elliott said. “But he’s fought a bunch of guys who are really eager to go to their back. Like, they don’t stuff any takedowns. They just pull guillotine or they’re quick to play jiu-jitsu. That just plays right into his game. The only guy he fought who had any wrestling… the American Top Team guy (Cody Durden), and he got kneed in the head right away.
“We haven’t really seen him face any adversity, except for the kneebar (at UFC 286)… He hasn’t fought anybody really good,” Elliott continued. “He fought a bunch of jiu-jitsu guys or guys that have zero wrestling. I’m not gonna be quick to pull a guillotine or let him take me down, not gonna hang out on my back. I’m gonna make him work for the takedowns, make him scramble with me. He’s not gonna try to strike too much… (He’s) not scary.”
Elliott will look to put his money where his mouth is when he makes the walk on UAE soil for a fight that is widely being seen as one of the more intriguing slated to go down on the UFC 294 card.
That’s largely owing to the pair’s interactions pre-fight, the most recent of which saw Elliott accuse Mokaev of being “gifted” a pass at the weigh-ins despite being overweight.
I’m a lot of things, but scared or intimidated I am not. I’ve made this walk for the ufc 30 times or so. I done seent it all!
— Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) October 20, 2023
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