UFC 197 continues to bolster its card with the addition of Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb at welterweight, and Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly at featherweight.
The UFC announced both matchups separately.
UFC 197 will feature a pair of bouts where one competitor has double the UFCexperience of the other. 13-fight veteran Darren Elkins takes on five-fight veteran Chas Skelly. In the other matchup, 11-fight veteran Erick Silva will battle four-fight veteran Nordine Taleb.
Erick Silva is an odd case. Every time he is paired up with lesser competition, he absolutely crushes them. However, he has consistently flopped after receiving a step up in competition during his 6-5 UFC career (should be 7-4 though, he was wrongly disqualified in one victory). His highest quality win came against Josh Koscheck, who was long past his prime at the time of the matchup. The Brazilian’s UFC defeats came at the hands of Jon Fitch, Matt Brown, Dong Hyun Kim, and Neil Magny (see what I mean?). Despite his iffy record, Silva is always a pleasure to watch in the octagon, as he has accumulated six post-fight bonuses in his eleven-fight UFC career. His last appearance was a split decision defeat against Neil Magny at UFC Fight Night 74, in which his physique seemed much less muscular than in previous fights.
Nordine Taleb’s UFC career kicked off in a weird way, as he failed in his first fight onThe Ultimate Fighter: Nations. After the defeat, he was invited onto The Ultimate Fighter’s 19th season, in which he was defeated in the elimination round to determine the cast-members. In a strange turn of events, Taleb was given a UFC fight before TUF 19 premiered. Taleb won his first three UFC fights in less-than-impressive fashion, then ran intoWarlley Alves at UFC 190. In that bout, the Tristar Gym product was submitted in the second round in what was his last appearance. The Canadian also fought three times in Bellator.
In a matchup of notoriously durable fighters, Darren Elkins will fight Chas Skelly.
Darren Elkins is the 11th-ranked featherweight in the UFC, but has alternated wins and losses in his past six fights. Prior to those six fights, Elkins was on a five-fight win streak, including a victory over Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Brandao. The grappler’s last appearance was at UFC Fight Night 76, in which he shut down promising Scottish featherweight Robert Whiteford. This will be the Indiana native’s first fight on American soil since January of 2014.
Chas Skelly, who spoke to Cage Pages prior to his latest victory, is on a four-fight win streak. Skelly holds the modern UFC record for shortest time in between victories with a 13-day gap between wins at UFC Fight Night 49, and UFC Fight Night 50. Since then, Skelly has added two more wins to the resumé. The Texas native’s last appearance was an incredible comeback victory over Kevin Souza at UFC Fight Night 77.
UFC 197 is shaping up to be a monumental card, with two title fights headlining the card. Conor McGregor will move up to lightweight to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for his belt in a massive superfight, and in the co-main event, Holly Holm will look to defend her title for the first time against Miesha Tate.