Until UFC on FOX 7 in April, Darren Elkins was busy putting together an impressive run at featherweight, by scoring five consecutive wins after dropping down from lightweight. Elkins had done so, somewhat quietly, until he took out Antonio Carvalho in the first round at UFC 158, which naturally grabbed the attention of a few more folks.

On April 20th, however, Elkins ran into the fists of #1 contender Chad Mendes, and was handed his first loss since 2010. While speaking to MMA Junkie.com Radio recently about his upcoming fight with Hatsu Hioki, here’s some of what Elkins had to say about the loss to Mendes, and why this next scrap is so important.

“It took me a little while, getting over a loss like that (to Mendes), and being in a position that could’ve put me right there to be a top contender,” Elkins said. “It was a huge opportunity. I took it, and I didn’t win that one. He capitalized on a mistake I made. I got over it, and now I’m just trying to get better again and take this fight and start another win streak. The last time I lost in the UFC, I lost to (Charles) Oliveira, and that’s when I went on my five-fight win streak. So I’m hoping to start another streak like that.”

“I’m pretty excited about (Hioki),” said Elkins, who will fight Hioki Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 27. “(Fights against top-level guys is) what I wanted – that’s where you want to be at, to be at the top part of the weight class.”

Although Hioki is no longer ranked in the UFC’s top ten, it wasn’t long ago when the former Shooto and Sengoku champ was widely considered to be one of the planet’s best 145’ers. So in other words, Elkins could have his hands full Wednesday in Indianapolis.

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