No man is an island…and no fighter, either. Tim Elliott takes responsibility for his actions and his words. Yet, he knows that his successes come not only from his own hands and mind, but also from the doings and teachings of others.

Elliott, the flyweight who will face Joseph Benavidez on April 26 at UFC 172 in Baltimore, is an exciting fighter. You may remember the highlight-reel clip of his flying knee knockout of Jens Pulver from the very first Resurrection Fighting Alliance event. After a 28-second submission of Josh Rave in his next RFA outing, Elliott transition to the UFC, where he faced John Dodson on short notice in his Octagon debut. Even in his loss to Dodson, Elliott was able to demonstrate that he belongs in the UFC.

Elliott (R) lands a kick (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Elliott (R) lands a kick (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

“In that first fight, I think I overachieved,” Elliott admitted to The MMA Corner. “I proved I can hang with these guys. I’ve been beaten hundreds of times in wrestling, and this is a sport where it’s not possible to win every fight. I just want to go out there and compete.”

Elliott describes his fight philosophy succinctly, “The name of the game is to get a knockout or a submission. I don’t go out there to score points. I mean, that’s not the right way to play. Like, in my opinion, those girls [Leslie Smith and Sarah Kaufman in the TUF Nations Finale] who fought before—both of those girls won. Neither of those girls lost.”

In fact, Elliott feels a certain kinship with the female fighters. It’s been hard for the male flyweights to get the same respect as the bigger guys. The ladies of MMA have faced a similar struggle, and Elliott feels that they have been doing a great job.

“The best cards I have seen, top to bottom, apart from some of the UFC cards, have been the Invicta FC cards,” Elliott said. “The show, the fans. No one boos—no one needs to because the heart these girls show. They really put it all out there. The females have really stolen the show. At first, they weren’t able to get any attention, but they always go full tilt and I love to watch them. I love that they are getting the press they deserve, and WMMA seems to be thriving in the spotlight. I think [male flyweights] are going to have it tougher here in the U.S. When we go to other countries—really anywhere outside the U.S.— they love our fights, the action, the technique, the movement. It’s just tougher here for us.”

The 10-4-1 Elliott is coming off a hard-fought loss to Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision.

“I tried to out-box a boxer. I thought I was winning,” confessed Elliott. “I was coming forward and he was moving backward a lot, but I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone but me. Benavidez is one of the most experienced guys I have faced, apart from Pulver. But I think Dodson is one of the best guys in the division and has the most skills. I don’t think Bagautinov is ready for the title shot. He looked like he was running scared from [John] Lineker. [Demetrious] Johnson will kill him, and it should be a fairly easy fight for him. I think Dodson is next in line for the title fight. I would rather face Johnson than Dodson again.

Elliott (R) attempts a guillotine (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Elliott (R) attempts a guillotine (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

“You know, the judges’ decision is final; I didn’t do enough. I tried to strike more, and I’m not a striker. I am better when I am mixing it up, changing levels. I don’t like to watch [Bagautinov’s] fights. Backing up, going for points, maybe it’s a Greg Jackson thing. I know I do better when the other is coming forward and willing to bang, and that is why I like this match-up. Benavidez is going to be right there. I won’t have to hunt for him or chase him around.”

Apart from his fight career and relationship with fellow fighter Trisha Clark, Elliott says there isn’t much else to know about him.

“I put everything into fighting,” he explained. “I keep everything the same as much as possible. I still have my Oklahoma number from my wrestling days because I don’t want to have to memorize anything else. If you want the results, you have to put in the work. I am not afraid of losing, because that is a part of the game. But I am afraid of losing my job. I don’t want a desk job. That is why I will always come forward and make an exciting fight. I train hard so that I can fight hard.”

There is always a silver lining in every cloud. Elliott was sick for 12 days during this fight camp and dropped from 152 pounds to 130.8 pounds. So, even though he was less than a week from weigh-ins, he got to partake in Easter dinner.

“It’s actually nice,” he admitted. “I got to eat a big meal with my family, the guys from the gym and friends. The weight-cut part has been relaxing, and it’s going to make the whole trip east easier. Even after eating that feast, I am within 10 pounds. So, I should be pumped come fight day.”

The flyweight finds solidarity and expert coaching at Grindhouse MMA in Kansas City. He gives his coaches and training partners high praise when talking about his successes. It’s hard not to like and respect a man who is humble about his hard work and talents. Why anyone would want to dislike him, I can’t guess, unless you’re one of the guys who will have to face him when the bell tolls.

Tim would like to thank Dethrone, Grindhouse MMA and his coaches, especially Coach James Krause. He would also like to thank his training partners, especially his No. 1 training partner, Trisha Clark. Tim would also like to thank his friend and manager, Joe Wooster. Follow Elliott on Twitter: @TElliott125

About The Author

Staff Writer

Amber currently resides in Tampa, Fla., a hotbed of MMA. She was introduced to the sport Memorial Day weekend in 2006 and quickly became addicted. Amber loves the fact that the biggest and strongest don’t always win, the respect the competitors show and that women are finally getting their shot. She also writes a blog for Fight It Out gear. When not watching MMA, Amber can be found at the beach playing volleyball, in the gym learning from Tampa’s only female BJJ Black Belt, cheering on her eight-year-old daughter in tae kwon do, or at her day job. She has a girlfriend, daughter, too many dogs and a cat who lives in the attic. Communication highly encouraged at amber at fightitout dot com.