Tim Elliott didn’t know if he would make the walk to the Octagon again, or even fight again.
Elliott welcomed Brandon Royval to the UFC back on May 30 where he was looking to avoid a three-fight losing skid. Elliott entered the fight thinking it was do-or-die for his UFC career. Unfortunately, after a very good first round, the TUF 24 winner lost by submission in the second round.
After the fight, Elliott didn’t know if he would be cut and if he was, admitted he may have walked away from the sport.
“You know, I don’t know [if I would’ve kept fighting]. It happened once before where the UFC cut me and then I left and came back to Kansas City and fought in Titan for three fights,” Elliott said to MMANews. “Those three fights I had in Titan were the best I ever felt. They were probably my three best fights, the fights I was having the most fun in, and the most dominating in. The opponents I had were really good.”
Yet, the 33-year-old didn’t get cut and ended up getting a contract extension. The 12th-ranked flyweight always puts on entertaining fights and even tried to fight Tyson Nam on June 13 but the Nevada State Athletic Commission nixed those plans.
So, after his short notice bid fell short, the promotion was quick to book him against Nam’s original opponent in Ryan Benoit.
“I had no eye on Ryan at all. But, when the Tyson Nam fight came around and I jumped on it right away. Then they said I was suspended which was disheartening. They then said I could fight Nam’s opponent. I guess Benoit can’t fight in Las Vegas because of some drug test situations. But, he can fight in other places, Vegas is a bit strict. That was the logical choice for me,” he explained. “Really, I would’ve liked to fought Nam. I don’t like to fight the guys who can’t make weight or can’t pass a drug test. I worked to get where I am at and I don’t mind doing the UFC favors. But, I don’t want to do these guys favors for not putting themselves through the same shit I put myself through.”
Against Benoit, Elliott knows this fight is crucial for his UFC career. Although the Las Vegas-based promotion gave him a contract extension he knows losing four straight most likely means he is cut.
So, for Tim Elliott, he says he likes the matchup but knows Benoit is a dangerous opponent. But, the former UFC title challenger expects to get his hand raised and get another $50k performance bonus.
“No doubt I think Ryan is one of my tougher fights in the danger factor sense,” Elliott said. “He is a dangerous guy. We both lost to Ben Nguyen the exact same way we both got kicked and rear-naked choked so it is hard to judge off that. Other than that, we both fought several good guys in the division but away from each other. I’ve never fought Brandon Moreno. As far as styles go and the matchup, I feel like this is a good opportunity for me to get bonus money.
“I don’t think this is an easy fight by any means. The Brandon Royval fight should’ve been a gimme fight. I didn’t take it real serious, I wasn’t really training, I came off the couch and I still think I should’ve won that fight,” he continued “In a sense that it happened the way it did, I’m happy it happened to someone like Brandon Royval. He is a young guy, has a lot of life in the sport and might be a champion one day. I’d much rather lose to him like that than say, Demetrious Johnson. Stylistically, opponent wise this is a good one to get bonus money and get a win.”
If Tim Elliott does that, he makes it clear to the UFC he is available to fight at flyweight or bantamweight on July 18 and the 25. The plan is to go 3-0 on Fight Island in a week.
“I mean if all goes well, it may be three wins this week on Fight Island. That is the thing, every single card people have missed weight or couldn’t fight. But, in Vegas, the good thing is they can fight guys on days’ notice. Fight Island, there aren’t going to be any guys. I’m going to be a guy that’s out there who can make 125 or 135. My blood work is done and I’m usually pretty good and not taking damage. If I’m fighting well and the company wants me, I’ll fight the 15, the 18 and the 25,” he concluded.