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The opening fight of the main card comes in the Featherweight division, as two veterans in Darren ‘The Damage’ Elkins and ‘Killer’ Cub Swanson square off. Coming into this fight on a two-fight win streak, Elkins will look to keep the momentum going. Having fought inside the octagon twenty-four times, Elkins has become a staple in the UFC. At 37 years old, the time is now for Elkins to make one last run. Meanwhile, Swanson is coming off a defeat to Giga Chikadze. A fight that was over in sixty-three seconds, as Chikadze landed a liver kick that put Swanson down and for good. Prior to the defeat, Swanson had rattled off two straight.
This is a fun fight to open the main card, as it features two staples of the Featherweight division against each other. With no title shot likely in either’s future, Darren Elkins and Cub Swanson make for excellent matchmaking. Darren Elkins is the epitome of a fighter. With some of the best durability, Elkins has eaten many of opponents best shots and continued to come forward. Gritty as can be, Elkins looks to wear down opponents with his wrestling or by eating punches. If there is one thing you can say about Elkins, never count him out regardless how bad it may look. As for Swanson, he is mainly a striker who can absolutely overwhelm opponents with volume. In fact, in three of Swanson’s last four victories, he landed over 111 significant strikes. Despite his most recent loss, Swanson has excellent durability. With cardio and high fight IQ, Swanson is a tough out for any opponent.
As for a prediction, I have Darren Elkins winning. While Swanson should have plenty of success on the feet, it’s the wrestling and grind that Elkins will implement that I’m not sure Swanson can escape from. Boasting a mediocre 60% takedown defense and having not fought a wrestler like Elkins since Tatsuya Kawajiri, I foresee a tough night at the office for Swanson. So with that said, I predict that Elkins wins via decision.