Darren Elkins respects Ryan Hall's unique style heading into UFC on ESPN+ 13
“The Damage” Darren Elkins is known to wear it when he sets out to do battle, but on Saturday night, he faces a unique challenge.
He will take on jiu-jitsu wizard Ryan Hall in an intriguing stylistic matchup at UFC Sacramento.
“I don’t want to play in his 50/50, he’s great at that, he’s known for that,” Elkins told MMA Junkie on Hall. “I respect his style, it’s not the most entertaining style sometimes people think but man, he’s smart, he doesn’t take the damage like I do. He’s comes in with his own style, what really works for him and he’s done great with it so I respect it. I just got to respect it when I’m fighting him, know what I’m good at, know what he’s good at it, make my thing happen.”
Elkins is coming off consecutive losses for the first time in his career, most recently, a TKO loss to Ricardo Lamas at UFC Argentina. With his back against the wall, Elkins says he will not let the pressure get to him.
“If I let all the pressure get to me then I’m not going to fight the fight that I want to fight,” Elkins said. “I know the consequences and my last two fights but I learnt from them, moved on and I took some time off to reevaluate myself after those last two fights and I’ve been gone for almost 10 months and just working on things I need to work on.”
He’s healthy, rejuvenated and ready to turn things around. Prior to suffering two losses in a row, Elkins went on a six-fight win streak with victories over the likes of Mirsad Bektic and Michael Johnson. He’s fought a who’s who in the featherweight division, but no one quite like Hall.
And despite wanting to keep things standing, he’s expecting plenty of grappling exchanges with “The Wizard.”
“I’m known as a grappler too,” Elkins said. “He has a different jiu-jitsu style that most people don’t have so I have to be ready for that, but I’m more of a grinder. I’ll do everything and he’s going to make it a grappling match. He’ll throw some kicks, he’ll grab legs, he’s going to pull guard so we’re going to get in some entanglements and stuff like that but my whole camp has been focused on that.”
“I’m going to try to make it as much standup as I can but it’s going to be those grappling exchanges,” Elkins added. “I think I’m going to catch him with a shot, either him coming in or on the ground, or on our feet, put him away.”
UFC on ESPN+ 13 takes place Saturday at Golden1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. The card streams on ESPN+.
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