This weekend fans Tim Elliott will be on display in a professional capacity when he faces Mochamed Machaev at UFC 294. The 35 year old earned a spot on the roster by winning TUF 24 in 2016 and has not looked back.

In recent months it has been Elliott’s personal life that has been making headlines. First he announced that he was splitting from his wife, Gina Mazany, because she had been cheating on him with Kevin Croom since their wedding night.

All three have fought for the UFC, although Elliott is the only one still signed to the promotion, so that was always going to be a big story. He poured fuel on the flames by publicly sponsoring Tony Soto who faces Croom in a bare knuckle boxing fight tomorrow.

Ahead of UFC 294 he opened up on the difficulties his divorce had caused,

“The last few camps have been ups and downs I’ve had some weird struggles during my home life,” he told

Sordid details

While Elliot’s decision to publicly air sordid details of the affair and divorce means that everyone knows about it what has been less widely reported is that he is now a single parent. The 35 year old is coming off back to back decision wins but admits that his domestic issues have made preparation for fights difficult,

“This camp has probably been the hardest (because) it’s the first time I’ve been away from my daughter. She’s been with me full time since she was a baby her and I moved to Las Vegas together when she was 1 year old. She always been at the gym with me, she’s always been at my camps, she’s my rock so this camp was a struggle because of that.”

While being away from his daughter was difficult Elliott believes the decision will ultimately pay dividends,

“This time I got to live the fight life. I would get up in the morning and ice bath and sauna and hot tub. It was nice to immerse myself in the fight life.”


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Age gap

His last fight was at the Apex Centre in Las Vegas and Elliott is excited about getting to fight in front of a live audience at the Etihad Arena on Saturday,

“Having fans in the crowd, that’s a big one. I worked hard to get to get to the point where I can fight in n front of people and fighting at the Apex is a nightmare for me. Being able to have people cheering or booing, just that noise. Getting to experience that will be a big boost.”

He is 14 years younger than his opponent. Mokaev is undefeated but Elliott is confident the Russian will bring the best out of him,

“He was like 11 when i got in the UFC but the age difference is not a big deal for me. The better my opponent is the better I do, I tend to rise to the occasion.”


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Awkward persona

His opponent was born in Dagestan but spends a lot of time in Bahrain and will have the local crowd behind him at UFC 294. That doesn’t bother Elliott at all and he is relishing the opportunity to fight in front of fans in the Middle East for the first time since the pandemic,

“I love to fight, other than being a dad its my favourite thing to do. I’m kind of an awkward guy, everywhere I go I feel out of place, I get more nervous going to the grocery store then stepping in the cage.”

Elliott is very up front about being ‘awkward’ and the stories that have emerged about his personal life have probably solidified this reputation. He might not always be comfortable in social situations but the 35 year old loves to step inside the octagon and compete.

He is a veteran of 18 UFC fights and feels that whatever people think of his ‘awkward’ persona they want to watch him compete,

“People may not like me as a person but a lot of people like to watch me fight.”