If there’s anyone that can give credible insight into the upcoming flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger Tim Elliott at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, it’s Joseph Benavidez.
Benavidez holds a win over Elliott and coached him on this season of The Ultimate Fighter. He’s also been in the Octagon twice with Johnson, and believes Elliott could pose some problems for the champion.
“With Demetrious, where do you even start? The guy is well-rounded, but most of the top guys in this division are very well-rounded, Tim especially. He can submit guys. You can’t really catch him or beat on him on the feet. I mean, you’re not going to beat him up on the feet. He might not be as dangerous as some, but he’s just as skilled, technical and hard to catch on the feet,” Benavidez said on UFC Tonight.
“I think Tim can take anybody down. He has amazing cardio, so his cardio is going to be able to match Demetrious’ (cardio). Just his size in general, Tim’s a big flyweight, a big, strong guy. I think he can definitely pose some problems.”
Elliott was released by the UFC in February 2015 after suffering three consecutive losses. After his release, he won the Titan FC flyweight title and went on to win The Ultimate Fighter 24. While Elliott enters the title fight with Johnson as a heavy underdog, Benavidez believes Elliott is no easy fight for anyone.
“It’s a fight. Tim is going to give everyone he goes against hell. The guy is a wild man. He’s crazy. He’s going to be non-stop and just hanging his balls out there every second. That’s what Tim does,” he said.
“He’s definitely going to give him a handful, and I think he can pose some problems. He can definitely get takedowns. He can keep a good pace with Demetrious where Demetrious is usually superior there.”