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Enrique Barzola eyes fight with Darren Elkins: ‘Let’s see who has the most resistance, who has the biggest heart’

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UFC 220: Bessette v Barzola Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Enrique Barzola wants a step up in competition.

The winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America, who’s coming off a dominant win over Matt Bessette at last month’s UFC 220, feels he’s ready to test his skills against the top talent of the UFC’s featherweight division. And having put together a record of 4-1 in the promotion, including a controversial split-decision loss to Kyle Bochniak (which he wasn’t very happy about), Barzola can make a solid case for a bump in opposition level.

“My next step is to keep advancing,” Barzola told MMA Fighting. “I learned from that mistake I made against Kyle Bochniak to never leave the fight on the hands of the judges. I have to give it my all, and if it goes to a decision, I need to make sure I massacre my opponent for all three rounds. And well, now I just have to improve, keep training, keep developing on the areas where I’m lacking, and now fight against the best. I’m sure I’ll get a fighter that’s more experienced and I’ll be ready for that.

By an opponent with more experience the Peruvian meant a certain individual who doesn’t get called out often – and with good reason.

“I would like Darren Elkins,” Barzola said. “He has many strong qualities: His wrestling base, he’s very strong, he’s resistant. I think that he has a similar style to mine, and if i were to beat him, it would be like winning the lottery. He’s a complete fighter, he’s very aggressive, and he’s well positioned in the rankings. So if I beat him and enter the top, that would be fantastic.

“And of course, I think it would be a very good fight for me and it would be very exciting. Let’s see who has the most resistance, who has the bigger heart.”

Like Barzola, Elkins also fought recently, spoiling the featherweight debut Michael Johnson. Elkins has managed to remain undefeated in his last six outings. Since 2014, no one has been able to derail the Team Alpha Male fighter, but Barzola is confident he’s the man for the job.

“I think the difference in that fight, if it goes down, would be the speed,” Barzola explained. “I believe I’m faster than him. I think we both have the same skills in wrestling, we’re both aggressive and we both have good submissions. So I think speed would be the difference in that fight.”

Although Barzola feels more than capable to defeat Elkins, there’s a good chance the American Top Team fighter might not be given the fight. If not Elkins, Barzola would love to get a slot in the rumored card that’s set to take place in down south later this year.

“I think there is an event in Chile in May, but it still needs to be confirmed,” Barzola said. “I would love to fight in Chile and expand my exposure here in Latin America, which I already have, but an event in Chile would bring me even more followers, and most important, it would open the doors for many Peruvian and Latin American fighters. It would help a lot. If the UFC gives me a fight there, of course I’ll accept it no matter the opponent.”