Tim Elliott fires back at cheating accusations: I’m not a martial artist — I’m a fighter

UFC flyweight contender Tim Eliott spoke up about the glove incident during his latest bout earlier this month.

Tim Eliott caused controversy during his fight at UFC 272 on March 6th. He fought Tagir Ulanbekov and earned the victory via unanimous decision. During the fight, Elliott pulled a series of illegal moves including grabbing Ulanbekov’s glove from the inside and using a glove grab to set up strikes. Unfortunately, referee Chris Tognoni failed to penalize it and let the fight continue repeatedly. Eliott had roughly 6 fouls during the 3 round bout.

Many fans were mad at him and condemned his behavior, including Ulanbekov’s coach Khabib Nurmagomedov and lightweight contender Islam Makhachev. The UFC Hall of famer could be seen shouting angry from the sidelines through out the fight. Surprisingly, even after all these reactions, Tim Elliott doesn’t regret how he behaved. Instead, he tried to justify it.

During a talk with MMA Fighting, the 35-year-old claimed that people were raging about the cheating because he won the fight. He believes Ulanbekov’s team couldn’t accept the fact that their fighter lost.

“At the end of the day, if Tagir [Ulanbekov] would’ve beat me, nobody would’ve said sh*t about the glove grab, nobody would’ve said anything about the cheating. The only reason why people are upset about the glove grab sh*t is because they lost. His team lost and it just makes them look bad. They wouldn’t have said anything about anything had they won, so it’s just one of those things.” Elliott said.

Tim Elliott continued by blaming the referee for failing to spot the illegal move.

“If you’ve ever been in a fight — and maybe I’m different — I’m trying to win, man. It’s the referee’s job to step in there if I’m doing something wrong. He was telling me all kinds of sh*t, he told me to let go of the glove and I let go of the glove. But for me, it’s not that big of a deal. I’m in there fist fighting. People are going on and on about the morality of the sport and the warrior spirit and all of that bullsh*t, but I don’t f*cking care. I’m not a martial artist — I’m a fighter and this is my job. I’m trying to make money at this job, and that’s what I did.” Elliott said.

Tim Elliott might have a point about the referee. If a fighter made an illegal move, intentionally or not, it’s the referee’s job to halt the fight.

But this is quite different from what he had to say following the fight. During the post fight interview he admitted to the whole thing during the post fight interview.

“I grabbed his glove for sure. We’re fighting – I’m grabbing everything I can. The glove is part of the hand. His hand is inside the glove, I’m trying to grab his hand, so if it’s there, you’re not going to not grab the glove.”




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