Having come off back to back wins for the first time since 2016, UFC flyweight Tim Elliott was looking forward to continuing his winning streak this past June versus Mudaerji Su at UFC Fight Night, but due to an injury suffered by Su, the fight never took place.
Having been competing professionally for over a decade, Elliott is used to things like fights falling through, so while he was disappointed he couldn’t face Su, it’s not as big of a setback in some ways as it is others.
“There’s nothing you can do about it,” Elliott told MMAWeekly.com. “People get hurt, injuries happen, and people have to pull out. People have to go through it. If it’s not this week, it’s somebody else next week, so it’s something you have to live with and just par for the course.
“The hard part about it is that I went through a full training camp, my coaches went through a whole training camp, and my training partners went through a whole training camp and none of those guys got paid because I didn’t get paid, (even though) those guys put in the work. It sucks in the sense that financially you don’t get compensated for that time, but again that’s just part of it.”
While Elliott sees the improvements he makes while in training for a fight, that doesn’t mean he likes having to do multiple camps in a row.
“I’m just so sick of camp right now, but on the other end I’ve gotten more of a chance to get better,” said Elliott. “For me, personally, I get better faster when I’m in camp. I’m putting in more work, I’m paying more attention, I’m hyper-focused.
“So even though it’s been long and I didn’t get paid, I also had two training camps where I have really good focus, really good training partners, and top level coaches, so there’s good and bad that come with that.”
This Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, Elliott (17-11-1) will look to pick up his third win in a row when he takes on Matheus Nicolau (16-2-1) in a main card 125-pound bout at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez.
“I’m getting older, so I need to go out and try to fight, do cool things, try to be exciting, and try to win bonus money,” Elliott said. “I’ve also lost some fights I shouldn’t have lost. I took fights that I shouldn’t have taken. Now I’m doing everything smarter. I’m doing everything with a purpose.
“I have my game plan laid out. It doesn’t matter if it is Nicolau or Su Mudaerji, the goal stays the same and the process is the same. All those processes are long and hard, but I’m enjoying that, getting back and learning, and making these adjustments so I’m not just going out and fighting; we have a particular set plan of what we’re going to do.”
Having put his career back on a good track, Elliott doesn’t see any reason why he can’t start to make a push for title contention in the coming year.
“After my loss to Brandon Royval (in 2020) I was kind of thinking I was going to get cut, so I was taking whatever fights I could take, but now after two wins in a row, this will be three wins in a row, the title has changed hands here in recent days, so the goal to get this win, stay healthy, maybe get another fight or a rematch then look to be in title contention again,” said Elliott.