Tim Elliott put together a dominant flyweight display against Jordan Espinosa, but it was their conversation in the second round that left commentators stunned.
Elliott won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25) in a fight he managed from start to finish; tallying over 10 minutes of ground control.
And it was with just seconds running down in the second, with Elliott in top control, that the American No. 12 ranked contender started talking.
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Elliott: “I heard you choked a girl in 2018. Are you a woman beater? Are you a f*cking woman beater? [inaudible] messaged me.”
Espinosa: “You don’t know the full story.”
Elliott: “I know enough.”
Espinosa: “You don’t know s**t.”
“Wow, that’s ugly,” Daniel Cormier said in commentary.
“There were some ugly words being spoken down there between these two.”
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Elliott fronted the media after the fight and was questioned about the accusation made, explaining that he did not mean for it to be heard publicly.
“I didn’t say that for anybody else to hear because I don’t know the whole story.” Elliott said.
He added that he was sent a Facebook message with pictures of back-and-forth messages between Espinosa and another girl, along with a photo of a girl with choke marks on her throat, continuing: “It was kind of disturbing, the whole thing.”
“This is the first fight that was personal. It was hard for me to maintain my cool. I don’t want to go into too many details. It’s not something I’m proud to say everybody could hear but I’m glad it’s out there and I’m glad, if it’s true. That’s why I didn’t say anything on the internet. I know people lie. But it was pretty disturbing the messages I received.”
Elliott was wiping blood blood into Espinosa’s eyes with his forehead but when quizzed if that was connected to the messages he received, Elliot provided a different reason for it.
“That was my coach,” he said.
“The coach said your blood is going right into his face, use it. He’s smart. It worked, it helped.”
Elliott did though go on to admit: “I wanted to hurt the guy.”
“I wanted to make him pay. I want to win either way, I don’t do this to get aggression out. I let my emotions get the best of me because of the message I received,” he added.
“That’s something I am going to have to work on… becuase I can’t let that happen again.”
As for whether he would speak to Espinosa after the fight to hear his side of the story, Elliott revealed he actually wanted to do that in the octagon before realising it was certainly the wrong time.
“I feel so bad. I don’t know the whole story,” he said.
“He’s right. When he said that [that Elliott does not know the full story] I thought about it at that point. I was trying to have a personal conversation with him which isn’t something I should be doing anyway. I should focus on winning the fight.”
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