clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alexander Volkanovski on Darren Elkins: ‘If he’s as durable as they say he is, he’s in trouble’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Auckland Volkanovski vs Hirota
Alexander Volkanovski faces Darren Elkins at UFC Boise.
Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Volkanovski didn’t mind sitting on the sidelines for a ranked opponent and a U.S. debut on the back of four consecutive wins in as many tests in the UFC’s Octagon.

Fortunately, a call eventually came through to gauge his interest in a bout with No. 10-ranked featherweight Darren Elkins, and “The Great” didn’t think twice about accepting it.

“I was waiting for an opportunity like this to present itself to face a ranked opponent in the U.S.,” Volkanovski told MMA Fighting.

“For a while, I was thinking that it wouldn’t happen and I’d have to take whatever I was offered, but then a call came through about the Elkins fight and I couldn’t believe it. He’s ranked No. 10, a higher ranking than I thought I’d face, and he’s on a six-fight win streak with lots of momentum.

“To be honest, I’m surprised he took the fight. I think he should be fighting someone right at the top of the division, but I’m stoked with the opportunity and now I have to capitalize on it.”

Volkanovski feels as though Elkins does his best work when he drags his counterpart into a brawl. The Aussie believes he is too fast, technical and fit to be forced into those situations.

While Elkins has proven to be a very tough assignment for the majority of UFC featherweights, Volkanovski is confident that his style is perfect for tackling the ultra-tough Team Alpha Male fighter.

“He’s a grinder and he’s tough, but I think I could really put on a showing against a guy with his kind of style,” Volkanovski said. “No disrespect to him, but he does take a lot of damage and he relies on it to a certain extent; I’ve seen him come away with big wins after taking a lot of damage. He likes to break his opponents, but I don’t break.

“If he’s as durable as they say he is, he’s in trouble. Again, I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I know he’s a bad matchup for a lot of guys, but I don’t think the same applies to me.

“I’m here to knock him out,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it, but I really think I can put this guy to sleep.”

Many believe that the high-stakes featherweight meeting deserves to be right at the top of the Boise, Idaho card considering the trajectory of Elkins and Volkanovski. Although their meeting has been buried on the undercard, the Freestyle Fighting proponent knows Elkins is the type of win that will create momentum for him as he looks to challenge at the top of the bracket.

“That’s why we waited for this,” Volkanovski said. “I feel like a lot of people are going to pay attention after they see what I do in there. Everyone on my side of the world knows that I can be right up there in title contention, so it’s time to get some casuals on the bandwagon. I think a knockout over Elkins will really put me on the radar internationally.”

Despite Elkins’ distinction as one of the UFC’s most durable fighters, Volkanovski isn’t ruling out getting his opponent out of there within five minutes of the bell sounding.

“I’m always prepared for a three-round war, we always prepare for the worst, but I think I could take this guy out in the very first round,” he said.

“If things go according to plan, that’s the statement I’ve been waiting on. It hasn’t been done before and people know how good this guy is. I expect this win to open a lot of eyes and doors for me.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting