I’m not quite sure when exactly it happened, but at some point in recent history, Darren Elkins was possessed by the spirit of a 1930’s champion boxer. Now, when he steps into the Octagon to fight, he takes hella damage before staging a gutsy – and improbable – comeback out of nowhere.
We saw this when he fought Mirsad Bektic, and we saw it last night when he took on Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 124.
Make no mistake about it: Johnson was beating Elkins up throughout all of the first round. Sprawling whenever Elkins even thought of going for a takedown, and nailing him with combos whenever he came close, Johnson had Elkins bloody and wobbly almost immediately. When the round ended, it was almost as if Johnson’s win was inevitable.
But Johnson foolishly threw a kick in the opening moments of Round 2, and, well, that was all Elkins needed to take him down. From there it was methodical ground and pound from top position, and when Johnson rolled to avoid punishment, Elkins took his back, slipped on the choke, and tapped him out.
It’s hard to imagine much longevity to this version of Elkins – how much damage can a fighter take before becoming a vegetable? But a win is a win, though.
Results: Darren Elkins def. Michael Johnson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:22, R2