Darren Elkins (right) will battle Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131. | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com
UFC lightweight Darren Elkins is set to drop to 145 pounds and will likely make his featherweight debut against Yoshida Dojo product Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131.
Sherdog.com has confirmed with a source close to one of the fighters that both men have verbally agreed to the bout, which is expected to be finalized shortly. The matchup was first reported Monday by MMAJunkie.com.
UFC 131 has not yet been announced by the promotion, but is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Several bouts have been strongly rumored for the card, including a heavyweight contest between “The Ultimate Fighter 13” coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos, and former lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian’s 145-pound debut against world-ranked featherweight Diego Nunes.
Elkins (11-2) has competed twice in the UFC, but has spent only 85 seconds fighting in the Octagon. The Indiana native lost the second bout of his career in his most recent outing, as he was armbarred in under a minute by Brazilian prospect Charles Oliveira at August’s UFC Live 2. In his UFC debut, Elkins earned a technical knockout win against veteran Duane Ludwig, who suffered a badly broken ankle 44 seconds into their bout.
Once a lightweight himself, Omigawa has found new life at 145 pounds. The 35-year-old Japanese standout went on an 8-1 tear after being released by the UFC in 2008, shaking a sub-.500 record and making his way into many Top 10 rankings. Omigawa had a five-fight win streak snapped on Feb. 5, when he was overpowered and outpointed by Team Alpha Male wrestler Chad Mendes at UFC 126.
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