The UFC finally has one of Indiana's own on the card for its return to the Hoosier State.
Indiana native and resident Darren Elkins (16-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is set for a featherweight bout against Hatsu Hioki (26-6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) when the UFC hits the Indiana state capital this August. Sources with knowledge of the fight confirmed the booking to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after an initial report from Brett Okamoto at ESPN.com.
The bout will be part of UFC on FOX Sports 1 2, which takes place Aug. 28 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The event's main card airs on FOX Sports 1. The main event is a welterweight rematch between Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann. Donald Cerrone meets Rafael dos Anjos in the night's co-feature.
Elkins will be looking for a return to the win column after an April loss to former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes at UFC on FOX 7. Elkins took that fight on a month's notice when fellow Midwest native Clay Guida was forced out with an injury. The loss snapped a five-fight win streak since his drop to featherweight from 155 pounds that culminated with a first-round TKO stoppage of Antonio Carvalho at UFC 158 in March.
Elkins will be fighting in his home state for the first time since a win over UFC veteran Gideon Ray at Hoosier Fight Club's inaugural event in November 2009. That win got him a call from the UFC, where he went 1-1 as a lightweight with a quick TKO win over Duane Ludwig due to a Ludwig injury and a quick submission loss to Charles Oliveira. He then dropped to 145 and rattled off decision wins over Michihiro Omigawa, Tiequan Zhang, Diego Brandao and Steven Siler before his TKO of Carvalho.
Hioki, a former champion for Shooto and Sengoku, signed with the UFC in 2011 as arguably the top featherweight outside the promotion. His career with the UFC got off to a bit of a rocky start, though, with a split-decision win over George Roop at UFC 137 that many observers scored in Roop's favor.
After a win over Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144 in his native Japan, Hioki was offered a shot at champ Jose Aldo that would have been a meeting between then the top two featherweights in the world. But saying he needed more octagon experience, he turned the fight down and instead met Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FX 4 – where he dropped a unanimous decision. In January, he lost for the second straight time when Guida took a split decision from him at UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago.
Tickets for UFC on FOX Sports 1 2 go on sale Friday to the general public at 10 a.m. ET. UFC Fight Club members can purchase tickets on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, and subscribers to the UFC's e-newsletter can get tickets with a password on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.
The latest UFC on FOX Sports 1 2 card includes:
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Sarah Kaufman vs. Sara McMann
Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki*
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Paulo Thiago
James Head vs. Bobby Voelker
Robert McDaniel vs. Brad Tavares
Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
Hioki and Elkins will be a great fight.
Stephen Holder - What happened to Rua/Sonnen and/or Reem/Brown?That's Fox Sports 1 in Boston
Wasn't that supposed to be the card that Dana was claiming would be the best ever on free tv or am I mistaken?
Hopefully Hioki learned to not just be contempt working from the bottom because he will get grinded out again.
Not impressed with this card. I feel like it needs more fire power. Hopefully every fight ends in brutal k.o and bone breaking submissions.