Japanese judo black belt Michihiro Omigawa (12-9-1, 0-3 UFC) will be looking to pick up his first win in the UFC against Darren Elkins (11-2, 1-1 UFC), who is making his debut at featherweight after two UFC fights at lightweight. This featherweight UFC 131 bout will take place on the Facebook/Youtube portion of the undercard, which begins at approximately 5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Omigawa: 35 years old | 5'6" | 68" reach
Elkins: 27 years old | 5'10" | 71" reach
What have these two done recently?
Omigawa: L - Chad Mendes (UD) | W - Cole Escovedo (SUB) | W - Young San Jung (SUB)
Elkins: L - Charles Oliveira (SUB) | W - Duane Ludwig (TKO) | L - Gideon Ray (UD)
How did these two get here?
Michihiro Omigawa has had plenty of ups and downs in his career. A product of the Yoshida Dojo, Omigawa started his career as a lightweight and went an unimpressive 4-6, including two straight decision losses in the UFC. A drop to featherweight was the answer though, and he's gone 8-2-1 at 145 lbs. He was a finalist in the Sengoku featherweight grand prix, and recently returned to the UFC to face Chad Mendes, where he dropped a decision. Omigawa will be looking to cement his place in the UFC featherweight division with a win over Elkins.
After picking up 8 wins in 9 fights on the regional circuit including a win over Bellator fighter Pat Curran, Darren Elkins entered the UFC at UFC on Versus 1 as a late replacement for Spencer Fisher. His opponent Duane Ludwig badly injured his ankle and Elkins picked up a TKO victory. His next outing was a lot tougher though, where he was submitted in 41 seconds by top prospect Charles Oliveira. After that, the wrestler decided it was time to drop to featherweight, and will make his debut at 145 lbs. against Omigawa.
Why should you care?
Omigawa does some interesting stuff in fights and has a pretty unique submission game. If you're a Japanese MMA fan, that'll be enough right there. If not, Elkins is a grinder with good hands that should offer stiff resistance to Omigawa's throws and different striking. As my dad would say, it's better than a kick in the pants.
More UFC 131 Coverage from Bloody Elbow:
UFC 131 Fight Card: Bloody Elbow Staff Predictions
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UFC 131 Fight Card: Dissection of Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha - Dallas Winston
UFC 131 Fight Card: Dissection of Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman - Dallas Winston
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UFC 131 Fight Card: Dissection of Spike TV Preliminary Card - Dallas Winston
UFC 131 Fight Card: Dissection of Facebook and Youtube Prelims - Dallas Winston
UFC 131 Fight Card: Dissection of Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins - Dallas Winston
UFC 131 Fight Card: Kenny Florian Training With GSP's Coach - Kid Nate