Tim Elliott honored his late coach in the best way possible on Saturday night.
Elliott, a former student of beloved jiu-jitsu coach Robert Follis, who passed away two weeks ago, used an anaconda choke to finish Mark De La Rosa in the opening bout of UFC 219.
The time of the submission in the bantamweight bout at T-Mobile Arena was 1:41 of the second round.
De La Rosa (9-1), who accepted the fight on short notice in his UFC debut, is a jiu-jitsu black belt, and he wanted for a guillotine in the fight’s opening moments. That set off a first round full of chain mat grappling. Both guys had their moments in going for submissions, but as the round wore on, it became clear Elliott was stronger and more experience.
The second round was more of the same, but this time, Elliott got De La Rosa’s back in a scramble and transitioned from there into the tight anaconda, leaving his opponent no choice but to tap.
Elliott, who was near tears after the fight, had a succinct message in his postfight interview.
“Robert Follis, I love you, thank you for everything,” he said.
Elliott, the former flyweight title challenger, improved to 15-8-1 as he won for the second time in his past three fights.