UFC 136 Results: Darren Elkins Dominates Tiequan Zhang
An intriguing featherweight battle between Darren Elkins and Tiequan Zhang was tabbed for the UFC 136 undercard.
Elkins carried a 2-1 record with the promotion into the fight, but neither of his wins were convincing. He defeated Duane Ludwig when Ludwig suffered a broken ankle. In his most recent fight, Elkins took a controversial decision over Michihiro Omigawa.
Zhang, meanwhile, looks to build on his UFC 127 win over Jason Reinhardt. The promotion’s only Chinese fighter has finished 10 of 13 wins by submission.
The pair traded almost immediately. Elkins dropped for a double-leg takedown, but Zhang countered with his patented guillotine choke. Zhang took top position, but Elkins was able to power out and escape. Elkins dropped punches from the top position. Elkins passed to the half guard and looked a neck crank. Zhang defended, but Elkins moved to the full mount. Elkins moved the back of Zhang and secured both hooks. Elkins worked for the rear-naked choke finish, but the Chinese fighter defended until the round ended.
The second frame started much the same as the first. Elkins immediately shot for a takedown and Zhang looked for a guillotine. Elkins survived again and took the dominant position. Only one minute into the round, Elkins took Zhang’s back again. Zhang rolled and recovered his half guard. Elkins moved back to side control, but Zhang managed to stand. Elkins locked onto a single leg and Zhang tried for another choke, but the technique failed. Elkins again worked from the top. Zhang rolled and reversed the position, but Elkins instantly returned to the dominant position. The round ended with Elkins pressing Zhang against the cage.
Zhang opened the final stanza with a flurry of strikes, but Elkins latched on a single. Zhang secured the deepest choke attempt of the fight, and Elkins looked to be in trouble, but the American found a way out yet again. Much the first two rounds, Elkins moved from the half guard to the full mount. Elkins took Zhang’s back and was able to lock in a body triangle. In the final minute, Elkins looked the choke, but he was unable to force Zhang to tap.
Elkins wrestling proved to be the difference in the fight, as he won all three rounds on all the scorecards. Zhang’s defeat is his first in the UFC.
Official Result: Darren Elkins def. Tiequan Zhang by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
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Rob Tatum is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. You can also find Rob’s work at TheMMACorner.com. For anything related to MMA, you can follow Rob on Twitter @RobTatumMMA.
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