Tim Elliot will be facing flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title this weekend at The Ultimate Fighter 24 finale.
Elliot (13-6-1) appeared on The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions, coached by top contenders Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo, where 16 flyweight champions from regional promotions across the globe competed for a shot at Johnson. He won the tournament by defeating four opponents in a row, two by submission and two by decision.
Despite emerging victorious, the UFC flyweight, who was cut from the promotion in 2015 following three losses in a row, wishes things played out differently.
“I’m happy that it played out the way that it did,” he said “But at the same time, I feel like if I would have waited and not done the show that I would have gotten signed anyway, and I would have been one or two fights away from a title shot either way and I wouldn’t have to spend the time away from my family that I did. But I am happy that things happened the way they did. I don’t think they could have played out any better.”
Elliot also discussed what he thought went wrong with his first run in the UFC and what he thinks will be different the second time around.
“I knew that I could compete with these guys and I knew that if I stuck with it and kept trying that I would have the opportunity. The problem is that I kind of screwed myself. When I first got signed to the UFC, I was a little green,” he said.
“I felt like I had great fights against [John] Dodson and Joe B [Benavidez] and [Ali] Bagautinov, but I really wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared to fight top-level guys. I held my own, but that’s not enough to win. And now I’m at a point where I feel like I’ve tightened up those things that I didn’t have before. I used to be just wild and awkward and that’s really all I had. But now I have some technique, I have some experience, and I think that I’m ready.”
The fight will headline the TUF 24 finale which takes place at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The co-main event will feature a bout between Benavidez and Cejudo, likely fighting for the next shot at the title.