Tim Elliott is not sorry for the way he performed during his win at UFC 272, whether you like it or not.
Elliott won an unexpected victory over Tagir Ulanbekov on the preliminary card at the UFC’s Pay-Per-View earlier in the month. During the fight, the former title challenger was shown grabbing the glove of Ulanbekov, which Elliott admitted to doing without hesitation.
One person who was quite angry about it was Ulanbekov’s cornerman and coach Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was shown screaming at referee Chris Tagnoni. Elliott didn’t hear the soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer, and still wouldn’t change a thing.
“I’ve seen some memes, but I’m really good at pinpointing James Krause’s voice,” Elliott told MMA Fighting on the latest episode of We Got Next. “I feel like I can only hear him in there, it’s just him and I. We’ve got a good chemistry right now. However, [Khabib will] will be just fine.
“At the end of the day, if Tagir would’ve beat me, nobody would’ve said s*** about the glove grab, nobody would’ve said anything about the cheating. The only reason why people are upset about the glove grab s*** is because they lost. It makes his team look terrible, and they lost. It’s one of those situations that they wouldn’t say anything about if they had won.
“If you’ve ever been in a fight — and maybe I’m different — I’m trying to win, man. It’s the referee’s job to step in there if I’m doing something wrong. He was telling me all kinds of s***, he told me to let go of the glove and I let go of the glove. It’s really not that important for me. It’s fistfighting for me. While people are raving about the virtues of this sport, the warrior spirit, and all the bulls ***, that surround it, I don’t care ******. I’m not a martial artist — I’m a fighter and this is my job. I’m trying to make money at this job, and that’s what I did [at UFC 272].”
UFC 272 was an event that had a lot of storylines in the aftermath, but it seemed like there was some sort of foul — seen or missed — in almost every fight on the card. In the end, only one point was taken away throughout the night — on a second eye poke from Kennedy Nzechukwu in his split decision loss to Nicolae Negumereanu.
If the referee doesn’t intend to take away points, then what is to stop fighters from looking for an additional advantage? In the current landscape and pay structure that the UFC implements towards most of the roster, there really isn’t.
” “It’s not an issue for me,” Elliott said. “The bosses don’t care, Dana White doesn’t care, Mick Maynard — I’m good with all those guys. They didn’t have any problem with cutting my checks or cheating. I sleep fine at night and a lot more comfortably now that I have money in the bank.
“But it happens all the time and it’s going to happen. Today, while sparring, I received pokes in my eyes. I had my glove pulled, my head was butted and my skin scratched. These are my friends and my teammates. It happens, and everybody knows that. I don’t know — even in basketball, if you slap the hand it’s part of the ball. I don’t think you could tell me that you aren’t there to grab everything possible. I don’t want to get into any arguments about it, I’m just going out there trying to put on a show and trying to win.”
Elliott won the first three fights and is now looking to move up the flyweight rankings. The 35-year-old is hoping for an active year and a return to the octagon after his fiance Gina Mazany takes on Shanna Young at the UFC’s event on April 30.
What stood out the most about Elliott’s win over Ulanbekov was the fact that there were no surprises, thanks to the preparation he had with his head coach at Glory MMA.
“The coolest part for me was that everything that happened in that fight, James Krause and I worked on it specifically,” Elliott said. He had his back for a while, but I was aware of the danger. We worked many back escapes and I was able to get out. But that choke was too tight and I might have been beaten if he hadn’t had that camp. I couldn’t be more happy with the results, and with that camp, and my team. It was a wonderful weekend [it was].”