Ricardo Lamas took a step back toward featherweight title contention with a resounding victory over Darren Elkins at UFC Fight Night 140 on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Coming into the fight on the heels of back-to-back losses to Josh Emmett and Mirsad Bektic, Lamas was in dire need of a victory if he wanted to make another run at the UFC featherweight championship currently around Max Holloway’s waist.
Lamas started quickly, establishing a stinging low leg kick and sharp punch combinations, but just wen it looked like he might run away with the fight, Elkins found a bit of a rhythm and began answering some of the strikes.
He was staying close on the feet, but Elkins’ strengths in the opening round were his clinch game, putting Lamas on the fence, and landing a solid slam in the waning moments.
As good as Elkins’ close to the first round was, it wouldn’t be enough.
The effect of Lamas’ low kicks started to accumulate in the second round, where the kicks coupled with his varied punch combinations had Elkins bloodied and looking a bit wobbly. Digging deep into his workmanlike attitude, Elkins kept plodding forward, which occasionally left him open to Lamas’ head kicks.
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Though Elkins made a quick start in round three, it was largely out of desperation, as the damage was mounting.
Lamas took full control in the final frame, where he put Elkins on the fence and sliced him up with an arching elbow.
Elkins still would not relent, but Lamas put him on the canvas where he would stand and drop big shots. Seizing on the moment, Lamas dropped down one final time, brutalizing Elkins with elbows, forcing him to turn away. When he did, Lamas dropped a couple heavy hammerfists, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 4:09 of the third round.
Though Lamas was largely in charge throughout most of the fight, Elkins never backed down, just as he expected.
“I know him from back in the day from training with him. The guy is an animal.”
The loss marked the first time in Elkins’ career that he has lost back-to-back bouts, but it was a turning point for Lamas, who needed to pull out of his two-fight skid before it became a tailspin.