UFC Featherweights, Darren Elkins and Jeremy Stephens, will kick off the UFC on FOX 10 main card tonight in Chicago. Both men are looking to cement themselves as contenders in the crowded Featherweight division, and a statement win by either man could rocket them up the rankings.
Elkins is 7-2 in his UFC career, and is looking to build another big winning streak. After dropping down to Featherweight in 2011, Elkins racked up five straight victories before taking on Chad Mendes. Mendes dominated Elkins, and finished him by TKO in just over a minute. Elkins returned to the Octagon with a hard fought decision victory over Hatsu Hioki in August, and is looking to build off that win tonight.
Stephens has looked uber impressive since dropping down to Featherweight last year. After dominating Estevan Payan in a bloody battle, Stephens knocked out TUF Brazil 1 winner, Rony Jason, in violent fashion in November. Stephens will look for his first three fight winning streak inside the Octagon when he takes on Elkins tonight.
Round 1: Stephens with a big swing and a miss to start. Leg kick from Stephens. Elkins answers with a body shot. Stephens misses a body shot. Hard body kick from Stephens. Elkins shoots for a double, but Stephens stuffs it. Stephens wings a overhand right and misses. Stephens with an uppercut. Leg kick from Stephens. Stephens easily stuffing Elkins takedown attempts. Elkins slips, and Stephens lands on top with a big elbow. Another big elbow from Stephens. Elkins gets to his feet and goes high with a kick. Stephens lands a combination. Elkins goes for the single and Stephens jumps up and misses a knee. Elkins pushes Stephens up to the fence, but Stephens breaks free. Big uppercut from Stephens and he is winging haymakers. Elkins with a hard body kick. Right hand and knee lands for Stephens. Body kick from Stephens. Two jabs from Elkins, and the round ends. 10-9 Stephens for more effective striking and hurting Elkins.
Round 2: Both men exchange in the middle of the Octagon, but Stephens hurt Elkins. Elkins recovers and lands a left hook. Head kick from Stephens. Left hook from Elkins and another takedown of his is stuffed. Body shot from Stephens. Right hand from Stephens. Elkins is just missing on his punches and is getting countered by Stephens. Elkins shoots in for a takedown, but Stephens defense is immaculate thus far. Elkins really working hard for the takedown, but Stephens breaks off the cage. Elkins with a nice 1-2. Stephens wings another big left hand. 1-2 lands for Stephens, and Elkins slipped. 1-2 from Elkins is countered by an uppercut. Hard leg kick from Stephens. Strong left from Elkins. Big overhand right for Elkins, and another. Front kick from Elkins just misses. Head kick from both men. Big uppercut from Elkins. Another takedown is stuffed by Stephens, and he nails Elkins with an uppercut. Elkins lands a superman punch and head kick. Body kick from Elkins. Body kick from Stephens and a leg kick. Big uppercut from Stephens. Left lands for Stephens and Elkins face is bleeding. Left hook staggers Elkins at the bell. 10-9 Stephens for more effective striking.
Round 3: Left hand from Stephens. Leg kick from Stephens. Front kick from Elkins misses, and Stephens takes Elkins down. Elkins working hard to finish a guillotine, but can not finish it. Elkins is working his way to his feet on the cage, and sinks in the guillotine again. Stephens rolls out and they are back to their feet. Body kick from Stephens and Elkins catches it. Elkins pushes for the takedown, but is thrown off by Stephens. Uppercut and left hook lands for Stephens. Another front kick misses for Elkins. Big right hand lands for Stephens. Stephens slips on a head kick, but gets right to his feet. Multiple kicks coming from Elkins, but he can not hit the target. Left hook staggers Elkins. Big overhand right from Elkins. Jab from Stephens followed up by a overhand right. This fight is all Jeremy Stephens. Left hook drops Stephens momentarily and Elkins is attacking. Stephens pushes Elkins toward the fence, but Elkins sinks in a deep guillotine. Elkins desperately trying to finish the submission on top of Stephens, but can not do it as the final bell rings. 10-9 Stephens again, giving him the clean sweep on my card.
Official Decision: Jeremy Stephens defeats Darren Elkins by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Here are some GIF’s of the action: