By Mike Bohn |
July 16, 2020 12:20 am
Elliott (16-11-1 MMA, 5-9 UFC) put on the type of fight people have come to expect of him over the years. He went three frantic rounds with Benoit (10-7 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and, despite not being able to use his right hand for most of the final round, got the unanimous decision win with 29-28 scores across the board.
The flyweight bout was the co-main event at UFC on ESPN 13 at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.
Elliott opened the fight with his trademark awkward movements and it seemed to trouble Benoit a bit. He took control of the center of the cage and tried to gauge his punches against a hesitant Benoit. After a few minutes of feeling each other out, Benoit landed the first big strike with a slapping head kick. Benoit found his striking groove for the remainder of the frame, and it was only interrupted by a late takedown from Elliott.
The striking success of Benoit continued into the second round. He stung Elliott with a few big shots in the first minute and found confidence in throwing consistently. Elliott attempted to stay in his face and find rhythm in movements, which caused Benoit to shoot for a takedown. Elliott locked in a guillotine choke that, while not successful, resulted in him establishing top position. A scramble saw Benoit latch onto a heel hook that caused Elliot to grimace, but he somehow survived and got back to the feet, where they exchanged for most of the remaining seconds in the round.
Elliott came out in the third round looking to apply pressure on Benoit. He had success, then a strange moment occurred where Elliott grabbed at his glove and was shaking out his left hand. Benoit picked up the pace and looked to land, but Elliott stayed sharp, despite throwing only one hand. Elliott was forced to work almost exclusively around his jab and Benoit was keen to take advantage. He connected with some strong punches on Elliott, who refused to give up and clinched up late in the fight. Benoit made a late push of his own, closing an entertaining and competitive three-round affair.
“My hand was numb and I looked down and my two middle fingers were doing a Y away from each other,” Elliott said of his injury in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik. “They popped back in and now I don’t feel any pain and they feel good.”
The win was Elliott’s first since December 2017, and he said he hopes to get a streak going after switching camps to work with James Krause in Kansas City.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 13 results include:
Tim Elliott def. Ryan Benoit via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jimmie Rivera def. Cody Stamann via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Taila Santos def. Molly McCann via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mounir Lazzez def. Abdul Razak Alhassan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Khamzat Chimaev def. John Phillips via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 1:12
Lerone Murphy def. Ricardo Ramos via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:18
Modestas Bukauskas def. Andreas Michailidis via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 5:00
Jared Gordon def. Chris Fishgold via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Liana Jojua def. Diana Belbita via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:43
Jack Shore def. Aaron Phillips via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:29
Breaking, Ryan Benoit, Tim Elliott, UFC on ESPN 13, News, UFC
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