Combat Sports

Brittney Elkin Interview Ahead of June 10th Claressa Shields Fight

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Brittney Elkin makes her mixed martial arts return at PFL 4 on June 10th where she welcomes Claressa Shields to the world of MMA. Elkin is excited by this massive opportunity and she’s ready to “shock the world”.

In this Brittney Elkin interview, we discuss how and when she first discovered MMA, what she learned from her first string of fights, how the upcoming bout came to fruition, her thoughts on the match-up, and much more.

Having discovered combat sports around 2008, Elkin has put in over a decade of her blood, sweat, and tears into her craft. She’ll turn 35 the day after she fights Shields, and a victory on June 10th would serve as the ultimate birthday gift.

Brittney Elkin Interview

“Yeah so I’m going to say my timeline is a little bit off,” Elkin began, “But I had my son when I was 19 and I had my divorce when I was 21, and I started getting in shape around 22. I was in Gillette, Wyoming bartending and I was heavy into CrossFit because that was huge at the time, and my body type is what actually got me into fighting. So there was a promotion called Ring Wars and they hired Spencer Fisher to come in and be the ‘cool’ guest at the local event. It’s a hilarious story actually, so I was bartending and they came over to me and said ‘you have the look, you could be a fighter’.”

“I was in their gym in Gillette for like three months before they had me fight this girl that was super tough,” she said. “We did an amateur bout in Spearfish, South Dakota right around the time of Sturgis. I didn’t even know the rules of MMA yet, I actually kicked the girl in the face on the ground, we were in a 50/50 and I just picked my foot up and kicked her it was really funny.”

Since then, Brittney Elkin has competed for top organizations like Bellator and PFL. Her most recent MMA bout took place in January of 2019 against Bobbi-Jo Dalziel, but unfortunately it was cut short due to injury. In this Brittney Elkin interview, she detailed the injury as well as what the recovery process entailed.

“After re-watching the footage it looked like to me where I saw the break happen, it was in the first 30 seconds of the fight,” she confirmed. “When I was throwing my arm it was like ‘tuh-tuh-tuh, tuh-tuh-tuh’ and I had this conversation during the fight in my head like ‘yeah your arm is broken’. I wiggled it a few times, shook it out, but it was when I went for a takedown the body weight shifted and it went ‘tuh-tuh-tuh-tuh’ again. I just sort of stopped. She TKO’d me, but Bobbi (Dalziel) is actually f***ing amazing, we communicate a lot.”

“It was an intense night,” Elkin stated, “I also refused surgery that night. I’m just really stubborn and after they gave me the estimated cost for surgery I decided to take the squeeze it and put it in a cast route. I’ve had a baby, broken both my knees, and my arm and I’d rather do everything all at once again than have somebody squeeze a broken bone like that night. I did actually end up having a non-union for a long time and we did a bunch of bone stimulating and I was back on the mat grappling after a year. I wore a cast for a long time though before they finally released me.”

In her first nine professional MMA bouts, Elkin hit some speed bumps along the way, but she never gave up. In fact, after reflecting back on it she’s been able to take away some important lessons that she will take with her into this second chapter of her MMA journey.

“Hindsight is always 20/20 right,” she replied, “In review I learned so much, because while you’re in this sport directly you’re so blind. After my arm got broken like that I was like ‘I’m f***ing done, but since then I’ve still been in the gym. I’ve been in the same practices, everything but stand-up. I’ve done all the wrestling for MMA, all the no gi, all the competitive training and strength training. My lifestyle hasn’t changed other than that I just don’t give a f*** anymore. I used to give so many f***s about MMA, but now I see things a lot clearer than before. The waves that hit me now are more expected, everything isn’t all brand new for me anymore.”

Brittney Elkin vs Claressa Shields Set for June 10th

Perhaps the most pressing question of this Brittney Elkin interview was how the fight with Shields came to be. How did a fighter who hadn’t fought in over two years book this fight? Well, it’s first important to note that Elkin has been very active competing in grappling tournaments since her injury. She has definitely been able to stay active and in the right mindset since her injury.

“So actually I worked event promotions at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia,” she related. “I was working the door at the CFFC event where the guy broke his finger, so it was already chaotic enough at the event. So it’s April Fools and Ray Sefo calls me, then we have the conversation and you’re always taken back when something like that’s offered to you. He told me he’d call back tomorrow, kind of threw down what was offered and what was on the plate for me. But when we hung up the phone I thought about what he said for a few seconds and called him back thinking ‘did he just prank call me on April Fools’ like I couldn’t believe it, but he told me it’s really not a joke. It was crazy with all those things going on.”

Since confirming the fight, Elkin has received a lot of helping hands who want to help in preparing her for June 10th.

“I was on Elevation Fight Team in Denver and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about that great team,” Elkin affirmed. “Some of those team members are flying out here, a few of their strikers are gonna come in and put me to work in sparring. You wouldn’t believe the amount of help and support I have from my friends. I actually just recently moved to Manhattan on March 1st and I’ve been getting ready for several things that I’ve decided to hold off on, but I am competing on the High Rollerz bracket on Tuesday (4/20) in Vegas. So, I’ve been in the right mindset to where I felt ready to do this.”

It seems clear from this Brittney Elkin interview that she is going to be in supreme shape come June 10th. She’ll have a massive advantage over Shields in the grappling department, and she feels as though that edge will yield her the victory.

“I feel that when I get my hands on her I’m just gonna climb,” Elkin said. “I don’t see it any other way, with the game-plan that we’re going for I feel like I’m gonna have great success. You can’t plan what’s going to happen that day, but I just have to remember the whole time not to get distracted, stay in the moment, and just be ready.”

Brittney Elkin Interview Conclusion

A key point to takeaway from this Brittney Elkin interview is the strong influence of her son, who has been with her for just about her entire combat sports journey.

“I have a son who’s about to be 15 named Bronson,” Elkin described. “I’m trying to lure him into coming, he seems interested so I thought maybe we could go on a vacation afterwards. So hopefully he comes to Atlantic City and then we can go away after. He’s really wonderful. I started this journey when he was young, he’s been in the gym with me basically the entire time. He doesn’t love fighting, but he loves me and just wants me to be happy. He’s a wonderful young man.”

Just before ending this Brittney Elkin interview, it felt important to ask what viewers should expect to see from her on June 10th. Basically, what does she bring to the cage each and every time?

“First and foremost you’ll see passion,” Elkin proclaimed. “I really feel I have the opportunity to shock the world and I hope to upset a lot of people. It’s the Claressa show right now and that’s great, but they’re gonna see me grab ahold of her and be relentless. I’m a fighter who has had her eye gouged and fought the rest of the fight with one eye. I fought Kayla (Harrison) and I only stopped because she was about to break my arm. Then, I did break my arm and I still fought three minutes with it broken. None of my fights have been easy, win or lose, and she’s going to have to deal with my relentlessness.”

In this Brittney Elkin interview, she thoroughly came across as someone who’s on a mission to ruin the anticipated MMA debut of Claressa Shields. She will be vastly superior in terms of grappling and that’s how she plans to ultimately get her hand raised. Of course, facing a gold medalist boxer is no easy task, but with the right mindset and tools it can be done. Enjoy the show ladies and gentlemen.

If you enjoyed this Brittney Elkin interview, stay tuned for more exclusive conversations with the world’s greatest mixed martial artists!

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Featured Image Credits to Brittney Elkin

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Ryan Truland is an experienced MMA writer for Ryan regularly conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date with the latest and greatest MMA content.