LAS VEGAS – All Tim Elliott cares about at this stage of his career is that he keeps fighting, specifically for the UFC. As long as that happens, he’s a happy man.
Seven weeks removed from his last fight, a loss to Muhammad Mokaev at UFC 294, Elliott (20-13-1 MMA, 9-11 UFC) was back in the octagon Saturday night at the UFC Apex. Elliott was up against Su Mudaerji on five days’ notice, and he handled his business with a first-round arm-triangle submission win in their bantamweight bout that also earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Not bad for a guy who hadn’t spent much time in the gym since late October.
“That’s not a submission I do a lot, and I was a little bit worried about burning my arms out since I only practiced twice since my last fight,” Elliott told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during a post-fight news conference. “But my coaches were saying it was there and to sell out for it, so I listened. I’m a soldier. I’m just lucky enough to have good generals tell me what to do. I put guys in my corner that I trust with my life, and I’ll do anything they tell me to do.”
Elliott said the win “was everything” to him given the circumstances. When he accepted the fight with Mudaerji, a new four-fight contract was also offered, which came as a relief to the former UFC flyweight title challenger.
“After my last loss, I didn’t know where I was gonna be,” Elliott said. “I had one fight left on my contract. It’s a really scary thing in the UFC to go and fight with one fight left on your contract. Another loss means I’m done. Even if I won the last fight on my contract, there’s a good chance that maybe they wouldn’t re-sign me (since I’m) finally making decent money. But taking this fight on short notice, they automatically gave me a new contract. I just started that new contract today with a win. Now I have the job security of three more fights. That’s all I really want. I want to make sure that I can fight again tomorrow, that I can fight again the next day. My biggest fear right now is not having this in my life.”
Now 36, Elliott, who has a 5-5 record since 2019, doesn’t speak so passionately about earning another title shot. He really is interested in simply fighting for the UFC whenever and wherever the promotion needs him, he said.
“I would love to be that guy they can call on short notice,” Elliott said. “… I want to be that guy. I’m a company man. I’m ready to work. I’m finally making money. I’ve fought in this game forever. Since 2012 I’ve been in the UFC. I’m finally making enough to support my family the way they deserve. We went through years where we scraped so I can do this. Now I want them to flourish.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 233.