INDIANAPOLIS | Looking to rebound from his first loss after a five-fight win streak, Darren Elkins is on weight for his Wednesday return to the octagon.
Elkins (16-3, 6-2 UFC) meets Hatsu Hioki (26-6-2, 2-2 UFC) in a featherweight bout at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of UFC Fight Night 27. Their fight is part of the preliminary card, which airs live on the Fox Sports 2 cable network (5 p.m.) ahead of the main card on Fox Sports 1 (7 p.m.).
In April, Elkins took a short-notice fight against former title challenger Chad Mendes at UFC on Fox 7 in San Jose, Calif. But Mendes caught him early, then stopped him with punches 68 seconds into the fight. The loss snapped Elkins' five-fight streak since dropping from lightweight to 145 pounds, where he was starting to gain some traction in the title picture.
Now the Duneland Vale Tudo-trained Elkins tries to start a new streak against Hioki, formerly the second-ranked featherweight in the world. Hioki has dropped back-to-back fights, including a decision loss to Illinois native Clay Guida in January in Chicago.
"I've been really excited to get back in the cage and start a new streak," Elkins said. "I've been really motivated and training hard. it's going to be an awesome feeling fighting in front of a home-state crowd."
Elkins weighed in at 145 pounds for the fight; Hioki was 146. Fighters in non-title fights have a one-pound allowance on the scale.
Elkins said he's prepared to counter what he believes is a well-rounded game from his opponent.
"Hioki has some good grappling and tricky standup," he said. "The key is mixing it up and keeping him guessing."
Headlining Wednesday's card in Indy is a welterweight rematch between former interim champion Carlos Condit (28-7, 5-3 UFC) and Martin Kampmann (20-6, 11-5 UFC). In the co-feature, lightweight contender Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (20-5, 7-2 UFC) meets Rafael dos Anjos (19-6, 8-4 UFC).
This is the UFC's second trip to Indianapolis. In September 2010, the UFC 119 pay-per-view took place there with a main-event heavyweight fight between former champ Frank Mir and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.