On the surface, it seemed like a typical Darren Elkins fight. He earned a scorecard of 29-27, 29-27, and 30-26 to earn a unanimous decision over Godofredo Pepey at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago on Saturday.
But it was a little different than the Indiana native's standard grind ‘em out victories, as he had to overcome a wicked illegal knee to earn the win.
In the middle of the second round, Pepey (12-4), a finalist from the first season of TUF: Brazil, was on his best offensive roll of the match. But he wound up and hit Elkins with a flagrant illegal knee to the head while Elkins had both a knee and a hand on the mat.
Referee Herb Dean deducted a point, and Elkins controlled the fight the rest of the way, overwhelming Pepey in the standup, fending off his submission attempts from the ground, and imposing his will from top position.
With the victory, the 32-year-old Elkins (21-5) won his third straight fight and his fourth out of his past five. Pepey had a three-fight win streak snapped.