Tim Elliott inked a new deal with the UFC prior to his fight on Wednesday night and he validated that contract with a win in the co-main event on Fight Island.
The veteran flyweight slipped past Ryan Benoit in a back-and-forth battle over all three rounds before ultimately being awarded a unanimous decision victory. Elliott got the same 29-28 scores from all three judges as he stops a three-fight skid with a win in the UFC on ESPN 13 co-main event.
“I feel great,” Elliott said after the win. “He brought the best out of me. It’s not just me out there. It takes two to tango. Hats off to Ryan Benoit. I’m ready to go again right away.”
In the early going, the fight was a story of two game plans with Elliott clearly trying to set up the takedown while Benoit was loading up his powerful punches and kicks just waiting to unleash on the former flyweight title contender. Benoit was landing with solid accuracy while doing a great job to keep Elliott away from his legs.
Even in those moments when Elliott did manage to get inside and attempt the takedown, Benoit was quick to scramble free and get back to a standing position.
Late in the second round, Benoit opted for a takedown of his own, which almost backfired as Elliott quickly latched onto a guillotine choke that looked like a potential fight finisher. Benoit eventually escaped and then nearly locked up a kneebar submission of his own while the fighters were still tangled up on the mat.
The wild exchanges continued with Elliott’s conditioning really starting to pay off as he was determined to move forward and pressure Benoit with his rapid-fire combinations. Benoit was still firing back but his movement was more labored while Elliott was just as fresh in the final seconds as he was in the opening round.
When the fight ended, the judges definitely didn’t have an easy call to make but it was Elliott who got the nod as he picks up his first win in the UFC since 2017.
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