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We have an intriguing fight in the Featherweight division, as Darren “The Damage” Elkins takes on Tristan “Boondock” Connelly. Seeing a two-fight win streak snapped in his most recent bout, Elkins will look to rebound in short order. Known for his ability to withstand punishment, the recent knockout defeat to Swanson was only the second time Elkins has been stopped in his last seventeen fights. Meanwhile, Connelly returns to the octagon for the first time in a year. Having signed with the promotion in 2019, and defeating Michel Pereira, Connelly has seen injuries and inactivity halt any momentum.
As for a prediction, I have Elkins winning. While normally I’d write that I expect Elkins to get hurt at some point and weather the storm, Connelly doesn’t possess the power to put Elkins in that position. Connelly does have some decent striking abilities, but his bread-and-butter is his grappling. Having won nine of his fourteen victories by submission, Connelly is a major threat anytime the fight hits the mat. However, Elkins is a solid wrestler who in thirty-six professional fights, has only been submitted once – to the current Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira. With a grinding style, I believe Elkins can more or less smother and neutralize Connelly like Pat Sabatini did. So with that said, I predict that Elkins wins via decision.