Darren Elkins improved to 2-0 in the UFC's featherweight division on Saturday night at UFC 136. He dominated Chinese fighter Tiequan Zhang on the ground, taking an unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27).
Zhang threatened early, nearly sinking in a choke as Elkins shot, then transitioning to a guillotine choke. Unfortunately, Elkins stopped Zhang from obtaining full guard, allowing him time to slip out of the choke. Elkins worked from top control, bouncing blows off Zhang's head and maintaining position, eventually moving to full mount. Zhang turned to escape, only to have Elkins transition to back control where he threatened with a rear naked choke for the remainder of the round.
Elkins worked for a takedown early in the second, successfully getting Zhang on his back after fighting off a choke attempt. Similarly to the first round, Elkins worked his way to back control, attempting to work his arms to a rear naked choke. Surprisingly, Zhang escaped, but Elkins dumped him back to the floor almost instantly. The rest of the round was a dominant display of positional control for Elkins, battering Zhang from top control.
Surprisingly, Zhang nearly submitted Elkins in the third, obtaining a tight guillotine. Elkins escaped, gaining top control and moving to the back. Elkins pounded on Zhang for the remainder of the round, winning all three rounds convincingly.
Tiequan made his UFC debut at UFC 127 in February, quickly dispatching of Jason Reinhardt in only 48 seconds. He had previously amassed a 1-1 record under the WEC banner, beating Pablo Garza at WEC 51 and dropping an unanimous decision to Danny Downes at WEC 53.
Elkins debuted at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones in March of last year, defeating Duane Ludwig after he suffered a horrific ankle injury. Elkins returned in August, losing to hot prospect Charles Oliveira, but rebounded in June against Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131.