Tim Elliott sees his first fight since the pandemic leading toward a UFC title shot

For flyweight Tim Elliott, the lockdown forced by the novel coronavirus has not been as detrimental as it has been to other fighters.

Having just come off a bout versus Askar Askarov at UFC 246 in January, Elliott had some financial stability which allowed him to focus on things outside of MMA during the early time of lockdown.

“I got really lucky,” Elliott told MMAWeekly.com. “I got the Askar fight, and although I didn’t get the results I wanted, I’m happy that I got to go out and compete and make a little bit of money before all this got started.

“My girlfriend and I recently moved into a house, so we had a couple months that allowed us to really move into our home. So in that regard it’s been kind of a blessing to us.”

Having relocated from his native Missouri to Nevada to further his training, the lockdown forced Elliott to forgo that for a more stripped down approach in order to stay fight-ready.

“I moved to Vegas to have the UFC Performance Institute to really feel like a professional athlete in there,” said Elliott. “I hadn’t had that this camp, so I feel like I’ve gone back to my roots a little bit.

“I’m getting gritty training sessions in; like old school wrestling practices; we’re back to training in garages and training like that. It’s been getting back to what it started.”

On May 30 in Las Vegas, Elliott (15-10-1) will look to break a two-fight losing streak when he takes on newcomer Brandon Royval (10-4) in a flyweight preliminary bout at UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns.

“I don’t want to think too much about my opponent,” Elliott said. “I just want to go in there and mix it up. I’m lucky enough to have a guy (in Royval) who I’m not going to have to chase around and look for. This kid is going to come forward, try to find the center, and we’re going to scrap.

“I don’t really know the level of this kid. I know he’s young and hungry and he’s got nothing to lose. I’m just thankful that he signed the contract and that we’re getting to fight. It’s scary to fight these guys you don’t know anything about, but at the same time if I can’t beat these guys what am I doing this sport.”

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley: ‘I’m in a violent headspace. People are gonna feel bad for Gilbert Burns’

While Elliott is not one to look too far ahead, he does admit that should his stars align that he’s looking forward to booking his next few fights before 2020 ends.

“Usually, I’m just about focusing on the one fight in front of me, but with all that’s going on and how I feel right now, honestly if I get this win I don’t see any reason if Jordan Espinosa gets a win against Mark De La Rosa, I feel like I have my next two fights lined up,” said Elliott.

“I get Brandon this fight, and if all goes well, I’ll get Jordan in my next fight, and if I get those two wins, I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be in the line again for the winner of the Joe (Benavidez) and Deiveson Figueiredo rematch.”