01 Jan Eduardo Garagorri sees Darren Elkins ‘under a lot of pressure’ after 0-4 skid: ‘He can’t lose anymore’
Eduardo Garagorri was forced to adapt his game plan when COVID-19 knocked him out of a fight with Mirsad Bektic to face Darren Elkins two months later. In the end, however, the Uruguayan featherweight believes it was for the better.
Garagorri never actually had the novel coronavirus, but was removed from the Sept. 19 event when one of his cornermen came back positive. With more time to prepare for the new opponent at UFC Vegas 13, which goes down Saturday night, Garagorri sees Elkins as a better foe “because he goes in there for a brawl, he’s brave, so it’s going to be a prettier fight to watch.”
“I think he’ll try to stand and trade and then use his wrestling to take me down, but we’re ready for that,” Garagorri said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I’ll try to keep it on the feet. He’s really tough and has a big heart, but I think I’ll get the knockout.”
Garagorri is looking to get back on track after losing a Nov. 2019 clash to Ricardo Ramos in Sao Paulo, while Elkins rides the longest skid of his career, losing four in a row in the octagon against future champion Alexander Volkanovski, Ricardo Lamas, Ryan Hall and Nate Landwehr.
“He can’t lose anymore,” Garagorri said. “I think it’s a good fight for me because he has a big name in the UFC even though he lost four in a row. He was a top-10 for a long time so beating him gets me a lot of attention. He’ll definitely be under a lot of pressure.”
Elkins has been in some bloody wars throughout his UFC career, but Garagorri expects him to “play it safe” and use his wrestling to make sure he gets his hands raised after 15 minutes. Elkins “gassed” in his last bout, Garagorri said, “and I don’t know how’s his cardio now.” Garagorri believes “The Damage” will be “forced to stand and trade with me” in Las Vegas, but hopes the UFC doesn’t let him go in case of a defeat Saturday.
“He has a big name, I would like to see the UFC give him another chance,” Garagorri said, “But a victory over him will be great for my career. I don’t think it puts me in the top-15 right away, but will allow me to choose my next opponent. I was coming off a loss so I had to fight whoever they sent my way, and now I can ask for a striker for my next fight.
“I plan on asking for the last mean to beat Darren Elkins, Nate Landwehr. He’s a striker, and we could get a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus together.”