Interview with Darrick Minner above
Darrick Minner has found his groove.
After dropping his promotional debut at catchweight against Grant Dawson in early 2020 at UFC Norfolk, Minner turned foe into friend. He decided to seek the tutelage of James Krause, Dawson’s head coach, of Glory MMA and it has been smooth sailing ever since.
The Nebraska native has won two straight impressively and looks to extend the streak against Darren Elkins at UFC Vegas 32 this weekend. Experience at the highest level is a talking point heading into this matchup.
“Obviously, he’s fought the who’s who,” Minner told MyMMANews. “He’s been with the UFC since 2010. You can’t compare my previous fights but like… even though I’ve only been in the UFC for three fights, go look at my record and go look at the names on my record. It speaks for itself.
“We both have experience [with] high-level competition. It’s just not the last year I’ve gotten this high-level experience. I’ve been fighting in RFA and LFA since 2013 before I got into the UFC. So I’ve fought a lot of the guys in the UFC now.”
Elkins has beaten some of the best the featherweight division has to offer in the past several years. Recently, he hit a rough patch losing four of his last five outings and many have jumped off the bandwagon. Although Minner is not underestimating his opponent, he feels the Team Alpha Male staple had his time at the top.
“He’s tough as hell,” said Minner. “He can compete with about anybody. I feel like he’s been there, done that. He’s still got it. He came off a win. So obviously he’s still collecting paychecks.
“But I just believe I’m the more hungry fighter. And I believe that this is my time. Everybody says it but you go out and match him and me up like it’s my time to take over. He’s been ranked as high as top 10 and so it’s my turn. We’re going to show that this fight.”
Best known for his comeback win against then-undefeated contender Mirsad Bektic, ‘The Damage’ has the ability to take heavy shots and still be able to produce offense to win fights. This factor could play a vital role when they clash inside the UFC Apex.
“You can’t take all that damage throughout your career and just be fine,” he said. “I mean I don’t know what it’s like to take that type of damage.
“He still can handle everything being thrown at him. The dude he fought last cracked him a few times. He still absorbed it all so I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing. But he can still keep moving forward and he’s still hard as hell to be put away that’s for sure.”
The anticipation of a long, intense battle is what Minner is envisioning. Yet ending the night early is not out of the realm of possibility.
“I could sit here and say that it’s going to be a first-round finish but [it’s] Darren Elkins,” Minner revealed. “I’m going in there and I’m planning that I’m gonna have to stick and keep grinding the whole fight.
“But I do think that [at the] end of the fight…the mid, end of the fight I’m gonna get a finish. I just feel like I can get the finish in this fight so we’ll find out. I’m definitely going [to try] for the finish the whole time. If it goes fifteen minutes, obviously now I know I can do that so we will do that the high pace.”
South Korea-based combat sports reporter that covers many of the major organizations around the world.