Darren Elkins Discusses Decision to Move to Team Alpha Male, Put Retirement Thoughts Behind Him
By Kelsey Mowatt
After defeating Chas Skelly at UFC 196 in March, which followed a training camp with the renowned Team Alpha Male, Darren Elkins has decided to move his life to California.
Recently the featherweight contender appeared on Full Contact Fighter Radio, and when asked about his current training situation, Elkins stated:
“…I’m still with Alpha Male. This is going to be my gym now,” the 31 year-old reported. “I talked to the guys and I’m part of the team, and I’m staying.”
Staying means that Elkins has elected to leave Indiana, and to relocate out west to the Sacramento region.
“I’m in the process of renting an apartment out here for now, and selling my house at home…staying out here full time.”
Although Team Alpha Male is home to world class fighters like Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, Lance Palmer and Cody Garbrandt among others, Elkins says making the decision to uproot his life was difficult.
“It didn’t easily happen,” said Elkins. “Obviously the thing was my family was really supportive, my wife was really supportive. This was something that she actually brought up and that’s why I’m out here. I had a couple of fights where I won, but I thought I didn’t fight very well. Then I lost a couple of them, and I didn’t fight well. I was actually thinking about retiring for a little while.”
“After I fought in Brazil, I fought Hacran Dias, and I thought maybe I just didn’t have it anymore,” added Elkins, while referring to his 2014, decision loss to Dias. “I couldn’t perform like I used to. I talked to my wife about it and she didn’t want me to do it. She was like, ‘you know what, you still have a lot in you. You need something different. You need a change’…She convinced me to get ahold of Chad Mendes, and come out here and start training with the team.”
Leaving Indiana, also means leaving behind the accomplished Duneland Vale Tudo team, who helped build Elkins into the fighter he is today. Elkins, however, decided he needed to train with a team that has more active fighters, and more competitors that are close to his weight.
“Having more coaches to help me with things is a huge plus too,” Elkins noted. “Even at some of the night classes at Duneland it was like three guys, two guys, and I just didn’t have the bodies I needed to really evolve my game, and keep getting better, and compete at the highest level.”
Elkins currently carries a record of 20-5, and the “The Damage” is ranked #11 in the UFC’s 145 division.