It wasn't pretty, but Darren Elkins' debut in the UFC's featherweight division was a successful one as he edged Japanese import Michihiro Omigawa on the scorecards, earning an unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
The fight was a closely contested bout from bell to bell with Elkins landing more often in the first round and Omigawa picking apart Elkins in the second with sneaky power shots. The third was a clear cut round for Omigawa as he blasted Elkins with a few choice shots from top control and landed a brutal left at one point during the round. From all indications, Omigawa was heading to a decision victory himself. The judges had other ideas, and the crowd made sure they made it known that their incompetence wasn't appreciated.
Omigawa entered tonight's contest following an unanimous decision loss to Chad Mendes at UFC 126 in February. He had amassed a five-fight winning streak before his debut, defeating Japanese featherweight kingpin Hatsu Hioki during the run. While some of the decisions in Japan were questionable, there is no doubt that Omigawa's move to the 145 lb. weight class has made him a better fighter. He had previously fought under the UFC banner back in 2007-2008, dropping decisions to Matt Wiman and Thiago Tavares.
Elkins lost his last encounter inside the Octagon to Charles Oliveira at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko in August. He had previously defeated Duane Ludwig at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones, although Ludwig suffered a horrific leg break during the fight, handing Elkins the win by default. Tonight's bout was his debut in the UFC's featherweight division.