Although UFC lightweight Darren Elkins’ recent debut at last weekend’s Although UFC lightweight Darren Elkins’ recent debut at last weekend’s UFC:Versus 1 was a very memorable win, Elkins feels that it wasn’t for the reason he would have liked.
Elkins’ had a gnarly first-round takedown of opponent Duane Ludwig, which ended the match when Ludwig’s ankle essentially snapped. So unfortunately, Elkins’ didn’t get to show what he is REALLY capable of.
“It took away from my win,” Elkins stated. “I wanted to go in there and show what kind of talent I was and that I belong in the UFC. This is where I want to stay at.”
Despite being a last minute replacement for Spencer Fisher, Elkins’ felt that he was surprisingly at ease on the night of the bout.
“Truthfully, without a doubt, I can say that was the most relaxed I’ve ever been coming into a fight,” Elkins said. “I knew I had to be. Obvioulsy I’m fighting a really game opponent, and to do what I needed to do, I really had to come in there relaxed. If you get all tensed up, it’s a lot easier to get knocked out.
I’ve been competing at a top level and everything in wrestling since I was young. I’m used to the fans. I actually think I do better around big crowds and when pressure is on me. I’m one of those types of guys.”
Ludwig is a vicious striker, so Elkins knew he had to get him on the ground ASAP. In less than a minute he had him grounded, but Elkins didn’t realize what had happened to Ludwig’s leg.
“I didn’t realize it right away,” Elkins said. “I didn’t hear a pop or anything. He tapped right away, which most people didn’t get to see. The ref didn’t even see it. He tapped, and I jumped up because I knew that if he tapped something had to be wrong. It was just a takedown. It wasn’t like I had a submission on him. I knew something was wrong. I don’t think the ref saw him tap. He called time, and I said, ‘He tapped.'”
After the initial confusion, the replay was shown on the big screen and everyone witnessed what had happened to Ludwig’s ankle, which turned out to be a snapped fibula.
“They showed it on the Jumbotron, and he said he broke his leg, and I think everybody realized what happened,” Elkins said.
Although Elkins’ feels for his opponent, he is disappointed he didn’t get to finish the fight in a better way.
“I had him in the position I wanted to in the fight,” Elkins said. “That’s exactly what I wanted: him on his back and me on top. Its just unfortunate it happened that way. I’m hoping he recovers quick. I wish him a speedy recovery, and I wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
So what’s next for Darren Elkins? He’s not too sure about what is to come in his MMA career, but he’d like to get back to his day job…pipefitting.
“We’re going to sit down with my manager, Nate Brodnax from MMA Agents. He said he’s going to give me a call in a couple of weeks. We’re going to work on a date and an opponent. I’m wanting to get in maybe in the next three or four months.”