Having won his four four bouts in the UFC’s Octagon, Australian featherweight Alex Volkanovski (17-1) has been rewarded with a big step up in competition. He’ll be battling 10th-ranked UFC featherI honestly think I can finish himweight contender Darren Elkins (24-5) when the UFC touches down in Boise, Idaho on July 14, as first reported by BJPenn.com’s Tom Taylor.
Volkanovski, who has not yet entered the UFC featherweight rankings, recognizes that the well-established contender Elkins didn’t need to accept this fight. He feels quite a bit of respect for Elkins for that reason.
“He doesn’t really have to take this fight,” Volkanovski told host Jason Kindschy on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio. “He’s on a six-fight win-streak, taking out some big guys. He probably should be ranked higher than he is anyway. He could definitely be fighting someone in the top three, but he put his hand up. Again, I think it was probably hard to get matched up, but Darren, you know, the man that he is, puts his hand up and goes, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’ So, yeah, I’ve got a lot of respect for him for that. You know, he’s a cool dude, he’s good to watch. This is gonna be an exciting fight and a lot of people are amped up for it, and so am I.”
Over the last year or so, Elkins has earned acclaim for his habit of authoring incredible comebacks, as he snatched victory from the cold clutches of defeat against Michael Johnson and Mirsad Bektic. These come-from-behind wins have impressed Volkanovski, yet the Australian feels he can put Elkins away where fighters like Johnson and Bektic have failed.
“I’m a fan of what he’s done, I love it” Volkanovski said. “But the thing is, you won’t see me tire in the end, where other guys may be tired. Again, I’m a grinder, but I am pretty explosive and I’ve got all the tools as well. I don’t just rely on grinding people out. He’s tough, I know he’s durable. At the end of the day, if he really does take my damage and I can’t put him to sleep, the ref can only watch so much.
“I believe I’m gonna be doing the same thing [as Johnson and Bektic], you know,” Volkanovski continued. “I believe I’m gonna be giving him a bit of a touch up, but then I won’t gas, that’s the problem [for him]. So I really think I’m just a bad match up for him. Again, credit to him, he’s an absolute gun, he’s tough, he’s a grinder, he can go for days, but so can I. It’s only 15 minutes in there and neither one of us are gonna tire out in the 15 minutes, but I believe that I’m just too dangerous.
“He’s a legit fighter so I’m gonna prepare for a three round war, but I honestly think I can finish him and that would be setting a statement if I can finish someone like Darren Elkins.”
Do you think Alex Volkanovski can succeed where Mirsad Bektic and Michael Johnson failed and put away Darren Elkins?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/24/2018.