Tomorrow night, #TheUltimateFighter will be laid to rest when its 24th season finale fight card goes live. The last season would prove to be a special one, in that all the athletes were champions, and the winner of the whole thing, the guy who gets to face Mighty Mouse for the title, was on the UFC roster just last year. Yes, Tim Elliott certainly made the most of that “Go get some wins and come right back” pep talk the brass give to those who aren’t quite ready for the big leagues, but still have potential.
In light of such a momentous occasion, I’ve broken down the fight for all of you.
Elliott’s striking is wild, and he uses crazy angles followed by loading up big punches. He should really watch out with that because it will give DJ an idea of where he is going to be after he throws that strike, which will set him up for counters—something you don’t want to do with the champ. He also hits from his hips with his hands low, another thing he doesn’t want to do that against DJ.
His crazy movement is unpredictable, which is great, but do it with your hands up. Your gloves don’t have to be right next to your head with it (if he doesn’t want to), but at least closer to the head is ideal. If he gets tricked out by DJ with some low shots and suddenly his head gets attacked, that will make him over-commit to defending his head, meaning his hands HAVE to go up fast to protect his head. Most of the time, when you do that, you expose your lower body since it’s almost a “panic reaction.” The champion loves these kinds of setups and will gladly use hard body shots or even kicks to the body when that happens.
He also needs to watch out when he has his hands low and DJ starts throwing body shots—you might think that is not a smart move for DJ, but it is because nobody does this to a fighter who has his hands low; they always target the head because it’s wide open. DJ is so versatile that he WILL do this, and it will distract Elliott, who will then leave his head unprotected for easy potshots.
He needs to mix in takedowns with his striking game. I know he does that already, and even managed to take Benavidez down a couple of times (watch out for the guillotine though).
Again, being wild and unpredictable is good and all, but make sure your hands are closer to your head, and while you’re at it, move your head after throwing big, loaded up punches. Otherwise, when he misses, he will get countered.
I also like the front kicks, low kicks, and flying knees that he throws, which are all good, but again, one last time, keep the hands up!
I like his ground-and-pound, as well. Mixing hammer fists with normal strikes like straights, hooks and elbows should be used if the situation presents itself.
Be crazy, but controlled. This is going to be, well, could be, a 5-round fight and because Elliott is so all over the place, he might run out of gas heading into the championship rounds, especially when he pushes hard. I know he fought 5 rounds before, but not against a guy like DJ.
I almost want to say, “Do what you always do,” because that will make him win the fight. Let’s face it, he’s the P4P best fighter in the world. Dodson, Benavidez and Bagautinov are three guys he beat, that Elliott lost to.
He is not wild, but will push right back with counters that will come from all angles, and those counters can be everything from knees, kicks, elbows, punches and shoulder punches that lead to more strikes, whether to the head, body or legs. When Elliott throws a front kick, he might simply (for him) push it to the side and counter.
He will fight outside the reach of Elliott for a few minutes, figuring out Elliott’s movement, timing and reach, then he will start attacking and countering.
He won’t get tired, and he will push the fight when he feels that’s needed.
Giving a breakdown for the champion to win this particular fight is like giving a breakdown for somebody to get a soda out of a machine. To DJ fighting is as logical as that.
I know, “Never say never” and a lot can happen in an MMA bout, but I see the champ winning this as always, impressively.