Darren Elkins won a unanimous decision in complete domination over Steven Siler at UFC 154. The Hobart Indiana native is now 4-0 in the UFC’s featherweight division, a mark that not many can say they have achieved. The victory should get Elkins a top ten or even a top five opponent for his next fight, but he would forgo that to fight at UFC on Fox in Chicago. We sat down with Elkins to discuss the win, what’s next, and fighting in Chicago.
How’s it going today?
It’s going great.
Where does your victory over Steven Siler rank among your other UFC fights?
It’s a big one, I think. It’s up there with one of my best. It puts me at 4-0, it puts me at a step up again, and I think the next fight’s gonna be a bigger step up. Each fight I’m getting better, so it feels great.
You were absolutely dominant in your fight. Was that how you saw the fight going?
It wasn’t exactly… I wasn’t sure I would dominate like that. But I had a feeling I was going to be stronger than him, I had a feeling I was going to be the better grappler. But just how much better I wasn’t exactly sure. I just think I was on my A-game. Everything I was doing was on point. Even my striking — when we were mixing it up I thought I was getting the better of him in striking. I had him guessing some take-downs sometimes I wouldn’t go for take-downs and we would stick with striking and then I’d take him down, so I really had him off his game.
Was there anything that surprised you about Siler in the fight?
Not a whole lot. The thing that I didn’t think would be — I thought I was gonna be able to hold guard on him — once I got on top of him — a lot easier. But he was flexible, and he had pretty good guard defense. That kinda threw me. I knew he had some tricky submissions, but I didn’t think he was going to be able to get his guard back so quickly.
The victory now puts you at the 4-0 in the featherweight division. What are you looking for in your next opponent? Are you looking for one of the top 5?
Yeah, that’s kind of what I’m looking for. Definitely a fight that puts me in the big picture. I think I’m heading that way in title contention, for sure, at 4-0. But I think I’m going to have to beat somebody, like you said, in the top 5 to really be in the mix.
Even though it would be just a two-month turnover, is there any chance of seeing you on the UFC on Fox card here in Chicago?
I would like to. I would love to fight in Chicago. I’m only a half an hour away from Chicago. But it all depends on how fast I can get a fight because that’s pretty quick. It takes a couple of weeks before I maybe even get somebody. It might not even be enough time. So that’s what’s working against us is time right now I’m worried about.
Was there any suspension given to you after your fight against Siler?
I didn’t hear any. They didn’t tell me. I doubt they gave me a suspension. Maybe less than a month because sometimes they do that, but they didn’t give me – didn’t tell me any, so I guess I’m good to go on that.
There are already a lot of top featherweights fighting on that card. With Chicago being your hometown, would that be one of those cards where you would be willing to fight somebody who’s not necessarily in the top 5?
Yeah, for just being the fact that it’s Chicago, I’d be willing to just step back in with somebody they can get to me. It’s not an opportunity that we get very much. It’s been coming to Chicago more, but it’s not an opportunity I’ve ever had to fight on a Chicago card, so, yeah, I would fight whoever to get on that card.
Currently Jose Aldo is set to defend his title against Frankie Edgar. Many still thought that the fight should have been given to Koch or to a guy like Ricardo Lamas or the Korean Zombie. What’s your take on the title fight?
I like it, honestly. I’m looking forward to that fight. I think Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo makes a lot sense. I think it’ll be a great fight. It’s one of those things. We know in this game, for sure, that Dana White says nothing’s guaranteed. It’s been like that for a while — someone gets hurt, and they change the fights up. It’s a bigger sell. I can see where it’s coming from. It’s definitely a bigger sell of a fight. Frankie Edgar was a champion at 155. He’s only lost to Benson Henderson two close fights, too. So that kind of makes sense to me.
Since you were the first fight of the night at UFC 154, what was your take on getting to watch the rest of the card?
First I went back to the hotel and took a shower and cleaned up, got all the blood off me, and then I came back. And I thought it was a pretty good card. I thought the Hendricks knockout was freaking crazy, and the Georges St. Pierre fight was great. The crowd there was something to experience. I’ve never seen an experience like that — with how loud they got and how much they cheered for them and everybody standing — it was nuts.
Is it safe to say that was the best crowd you’ve ever fought in front of?
For the Canadian guys? Yes, they were definitely into it. For me, I was the first fight of the night, so it wasn’t as packed as the Georges St. Pierre fight, but it was a good crowd. Any fights just watching the main event and how loud it got, and for some of the other fighters, it was definitely a different experience.
Any big plans for Thanksgiving and Black Friday?
I’m for sure going to have some family come over to my house, eat some turkey, watch some football maybe, and just kind of share some good stories. And Black Friday? I don’t usually go out on Black Friday; my wife does. I usually watch the kids. I’ll play babysitter.
Where can the fans find you at?
You can find me on my Facebook page or Twitter page. @Darren_Elkins
Any people you want to give a shout-out to?
My family, my teammates from Duneland Vale Tudo, Team Colon, my teammates from Team Carlson Gracie in Aurora and my management team Paradigm