Tim Elliott believes it’s do or die for his UFC career at UFC 246.
Elliott returned after a nearly two-year layoff in October but lost in the first round to Deiveson Figueiredo. It also dropped his record to 15-9-1 and 2-3 since returning to the UFC after being cut in 2015 after going 2-4 the first time around.
So, for Elliott, he believes this fight at UFC 246 is the most important of his career right now. And, given the stakes, the training camp also did not go the 33-year-old’s way as he was in a car accident that left him with a minor injury.
“This is everything. A loss here I could be looking at getting cut again. This is my most important fight right now. I need to win this one in order to keep in the promotion,” Elliott said to MMA News. “So, I am kind of put in a corner right now but I like that. I’ve been there before, I like these high-pressure situations. When sh*t is going smooth I don’t fight as well, but when sh*ts not going right I tend to overcome. This whole camp I have embraced that. I was in a car accident, a hit-and-run car accident, I took a little injury from that. Me and my daughter and my girlfriend Gina Mazany where bad sick for like a week. All that negative stuff motivates me and makes me feel good. I’m ready to go.”
Standing in his way of keeping his job is the undefeated Askar Askarov. In the Russian’s UFC debut he had a draw against Brandon Moreno which is where Elliott got the idea of fighting the 27-year-old.
Although he asked for this fight, Elliott says he doesn’t know much about the Russian other than the fact that this will be a tough bout.
“Honestly, I don’t know much. I know he kind of takes an ugly shot, he’s real clean and doesn’t want to strike much. Good submissions, good grappler. Real sneaky off his back,” he explained. “But, I don’t know too much about him and I didn’t watch very much tape I just let my coaches do that. I did watch the Brandon Moreno fight because I train with him some and he is my friend and I thought Brandon Moreno won that fight. It was a really good fight and he is a tough opponent.”
Ultimately, Tim Elliott is confident he will get his hand raised and keep his UFC job. He believes Askarov will be wild in there and be looking for takedowns. Yet, for the former UFC title challenger, he thinks he will be able to be the faster fighter and avoid those takedowns and piece up Askarov en route to the win.
“It is hard to say. I know he will be really anxious to try and get a takedown. I’m usually a guy that likes to go forward and get all wild. But, I feel like, for this fight, I need to get on my bicycle and do some backpedaling and really work my movement and athleticism,” he said. “Usually in this division, I am not the most athletic guy and I’m not the faster guy. But, in this fight, I feel like I am the more athletic and the faster guy. My plan is just to try and out athlete him and try and be the better athlete and try and be out of his way.”
If all that happens, Elliott will continue to have his top-10 ranking in the flyweight division. And, the hope for him is down the line he can fight his friend and teammate again in Joseph Benavidez for the flyweight title.
“It is the best. We fought he beat me, then I was his first pick on The Ultimate Fighter and he coached me to win The Ultimate Fighter. Coached me all the way up to a UFC world title shot. Now, it would be picture perfect if I could fight him for the world title,” Tim Elliott concluded. “That is the kind of s**t they make movies about. We are both the kind of guys that it is all business and all it would mean if we were to fight each other that our team and our training is going right. That is the goal right now.”
Listen to the full interview with Tim Elliott here: