UFC Fight Night: St. Louis
Darren Elkins vs Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson is making his Featherweight debut this Sunday in St. Louis verse divisional mainstay Darren Elkins. This will be Johnsons first time at this weight after going 1 for his last 5 fights the last two of which showed him taking more damage than any other time in his career at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. In terms of all the check marks you want for a competitive Mixed Martial Artists Michael Johnson has a large number of them: Quick Hands, Offensive and Defensive Wrestling, the ability to throw in combination. Sadly two aspects of ‘The Menace’s’ game will always hold him back and that’s a conditioning issue and a tendency to concede the fight when he is no longer leading. When leading in offense and working his game Michael Johnson is exceptionally difficult to beat but if you can push him and stifle his initial game plan his reactions slow becoming more open to follow up shots. Nearly every one of his losses have early periods when he is dominating following by a major momentum swing and going full DC/Rumble.
On the other side of the cage will be Darren Elkins the Indiana boy become Team Alpha Male member with comic book font DAMAGE scrolled across his chest in tattoo form. Elkins has an undying belief that he will walk through anything you throw at him, ask for more and then pay you back in kind. A strong chin, unbreakable will and the ability to push you past your breaking point has been his M.O. for years finally linking up with the skills and training to back it up now that he is at an elite gym with fantastic training partners. Darren will take 2 to give you 1, hell he will take 5 to give you 1 but he will make it count and then you’re pressed against the cage getting his blood all over your while he squeezes every measurable quantity of oxygen out of your lungs.
Hyperbole aside bare minimum this is a fight of a fighter who quits vs a fighter who makes you quit with the former fighter down a weight class for the first time (admitting having nightmares about weight cutting) and the latter at the height of his confidence with every aspect of his career clicking for the first time.
Darren Elkins (+145)