Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).
The card is to be headlined by former five-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who makes his long-awaited return in the main event. He’s been out two-and-a-half years, but he looks to get that belt back he never lost in a fight, and it starts with tonight. Opposing him is No. 2 ranked bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen, who is on a two-fight win streak after knocking out former six-time WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes and former four-time UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, both in devastating fashion.
Does Dillashaw get back on track, where he left off in the bantamweight division or does Sandhagen add another multi-time world champion to his highlight reel?
Co-headlining the event comes another bantamweight clash, this one between Kyler Phillips and Raulian Paiva, following the scrapped booking between Aspen Ladd and Macy Chiasson. Phillips has looked incredible thus far into his UFC career, as he’s looking to make it four-straight inside the promotion, while Paiva comes up from 125 lbs on a two-fight win streak himself.
In a featured bout between two featherweights, Darren Elkins takes on Darrick Minner. Elkins is 1-4 in his last five bouts. A win at 37 years of age will keep him off the fence of being cut from the UFC. Minner is entering his fourth fight within the UFC. a win could bring him to 3-1 in the organization.
Below is a play-by-play of each round:
Round 1: Minner came out throwing quick hands. a couple of exchanges occurred before Elkins went for a takedown. Minner attempted a submission with his back against the cage. Elkins wraps his arms around Minner’s waist and lifted his hips away from the fence and dragged him to the canvas. While on top, Elkins lands big left hands to Minner. Minner reverses Elkins and takes the top position before taking Elkins back after a small scramble. Elkins fights out of a leg triangle and a tight appearing armbar. Elkin regains the top position but ends up with his butt on the canvas and his back against the fence after poor hip positioning. The two fighters find themselves back on their feet before Elkins falls back on his backside. Elkins keeps putting himself in poor positioning as Minner attempts submissions and drops elbows on the face of Elkins. The horn sounds
Round 2: Minner fakes the uppercut and shoots in for a takedown bringing Elkins to his butt once again. While on tip looking for a transition, Elkins is throwing shots from a seated position. Elkins uses a Guillotine Choke to get back to his feet before Minner scrambles and takes his back against the cage. As they roll around on the canvas, Minner transitions to the top and out front with a front headlock. After Minner attempts a Guillotine Choke of his own, Elkins escapes and takes the top position. Elkins climbs into a crucifix position and starts striking the head of Minner. Minner escapes the crucifix position but underneath Elkins in a half-guard position. Elkins continues raining down strikes on a tired Minner. After landing numerous straight shots from the top in various positions, Elkins broke Minner and forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Darren Elkins def. Darrick Minner via TKO in Round 2, at 3:48.