A golden opportunity is fast approaching for No. 8 ranked UFC flyweight Tim Elliott. On April 26 he will get the chance to rocket up the 125 pound rankings when he faces No. 2 ranked Joseph Benavidez at UFC 172.
Some fighters would find the task of facing a highly touted veteran opponent such as Benavidez daunting, but Elliott (10-4-1) is not among that group. In fact, the way Elliott looks at it, it's just another day at the UFC office for him, "I'm kind of used to fighting tough guys," he recently told MMAFightCorner. "I haven't fought anybody that's been out of the top ten in my four fights in the UFC, so I just expect to fight good guys."
Good may be a understated way of describing Benavidez considering the only losses on the record of the 19-4 fighter have come to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (two losses to each). The way Elliott is looking at the upcoming contest that big fight experience is the only advantage that Benavidez will hold over him.
Benavidez will not be the only opponent Elliott will deal with when the UFC makes its debut in Baltimore with UFC 172; he'll also have to contend with fan disinterest. Fight fans have been slow to embrace Elliott and the rest of the UFC's 125 pound division, and Elliott said he knows why that is, "I think the problem with the 125 pound division is the American mentality, they all think bigger is better, and they'd rather see two fat guys whale on each other than two guys who are active and doing a lot of movement - a lot of strikes, a lot of takedowns, a lot of scrambling, they'd rather see two big guys slug it out."
Elliott and Benavidez will be the sole 125 pounders fighting on UFC 172 and they will close out the four fight Fox Sports 1 preliminary card from the Baltimore Arena.