SpitballingPod Interviews Tim Elliott
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking with TUF24 winner Tim Elliott as he prepares to face Justin Scoggins as part of UFC on FOX 26 on 16th December at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Canada. You can read a full transcript of our conversation below.
Luke: Hi Tim, thanks for giving me some of your time.
Luke: You’re facing Justin Scoggins next, how much do you know about him? Have you seen many of his previous fights?
Tim: I’ve watched pretty much all of his fights, I know quite a bit about him. He was a guy that I always thought I would end up fighting. He wasn’t on my shortlist of guys that I wanted to fight, but I figured he would be a guy down the road that would match up and I’m super excited for it.
Luke: Do you think your styles match up well?
Tim: You know, I do; I think it’s kind of a wildcard as we both put it all out there, right from the start and who knows? I have a fighting style that I think beats a lot of guys, but at the same time it’s a dangerous style. I like those back and forth fights, I like to battle and I feel like Scoggins is a good opponent for where I can get a good heavy battle – which is what I want.
Luke: To go back to your UFC return – you went through TUF24, is that as much of an out of the ordinary experience as it’s described as?
Tim: Oh man it was horrible for me. I was one of the older guys, I’d already been hired by the UFC, I had just had a baby so I had to leave my wife and kid and move in with 15 other guys. I don’t know if these guys lived with their parents, or had wives that cleaned up after them, but it was a little bit of a culture shock to move into a house with all these guys that don’t know how to clean up after themselves… it was just super different for me, it was hard and I barely made it through. Several times I wanted to quit. I got through it, though I didn’t feel like I fought the best in the house, but I did enough and I got the wins.
Luke: How tough is it also to make weight 4 times in such a short space of time?
Tim: Yeah it was really tough and for me I was the very last set of fights, so some guys that fought on the first set of fights had like 15 days between their first and second fights but due to being the last, I literally fought Wednesday, Wednesday Wednesday, Wednesday. By the time I fought Demetrious Johnson, my body was not yet back to normal. I was so ran down in the Demetrious Johnson fight and that was by far the worst I’ve felt going into any fight and I think that had a lot to do with it.
Luke: I wondered what it was like preparing for a fight against Demetrious Johnson? I know everyone believes they can win going in, but there’s such an aura around him of how he’s unbeatable and that he’s good everywhere, so what was your mentality like going in?
Tim: It was actually perfect for me, because like you said he has this unbeatable tag on him, so I had myself in a situation where I was already considered to have lost the fight, everyone thinks I’m gonna get knocked out and so it was perfect for me. All I had to do was not get knocked out in the first round and then that was already better than how people thought I was going to do. If I have no fear of losing, then I’m a dangerous guy. I could fight Demetrious Johnson a million times, and we’re gonna have a good fight every single time. It’s the fights that I’m supposed to win, where I’m better than the guy, they’re the fights I struggle with. If I’m fighting a guy who’s top notch, and I know he’s top notch, then that really brings the best out of me.
Luke: Yeah, I know you said how bad you felt going into that fight, so do you reflect on that fight positively – not so much because it was a loss, but because you pushed him so far, despite feeling that way, and that perhaps with a full camp things could have gone differently?
Tim: Maybe, but that’s a double edged sword because my last fight I went in feeling as good as I’ve ever felt and then I lost. Same as when I fought Joe Benavidez, when the fight was happening, I never felt more in control of a fight and then I lost both of those fights. With regards to the DJ fight its hard to say, I try not to dwell too much on it, I just go out there to try and put on a show and I wanna go out on my shield – I hate losing like I did, I wanna go out like a warrior. I feel like I have something to prove in this fight. This is do or die for us – if we lose here, we’re looking for a new job; I think that makes for fireworks.
Luke: Just looking ahead now then, it looks like Demetrious Johnson is looking to move up in the future – do you think in a strange way it could bring more interest to the flyweight division as it’ll then be blasted wide open?
Tim: I think there are plenty of things right now that will bring some more life to this division – whether Demetrious loses, TJ comes down to 125, DJ goes up then all of those things are exciting. The fights in this division are typically exciting.
Luke: Is the plan to stay at Flyweight?
Tim: Honestly, I’ve been wanting to go up, but I’ve just been waiting for the right opponent or the right offer. But to be fair, after the Demetrious Johnson fight I managed to get my diet right and my last two weight cuts have been super easy and I’ve had no problem making weight and I felt great in both. So I’ll stay at 125 until I’m fired or there’s a match there that I really like.
Luke: Just finally, what is your ultimate goal in the UFC, is it to push on and win the belt now?
Tim: There was a time when that was all I really wanted, I wanted to be the UFC Champion and it’s still something that I would like but I only really wanna be UFC Champion so that I can make more money. Aside from the money thing, really what I wanna do is just put on good fights and be able to put on a video when I’m 50 years old and show people and say ‘this is what I did, this is what I was good at’.
Luke: Well thanks for giving me some of your time today Tim, I do really appreciate it, and good luck for the next fight!
Tim: Thank you, appreciate it.