Ranked featherweight Darren Elkins meets Hacran Dias in Sao Paulo

Tough featherweights Darren Elkins (left) and Hacran Dias meet in Brazil on Dec. 20.

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Darren Elkins must like Brazil.

The ranked featherweight will take on Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night on FOX Sports 1 on Dec. 20 in Sao Paulo, the UFC announced Tuesday. Elkins just fought at UFC 179 on Oct. 25 in Rio de Janeiro, defeating Lucas Martins by split decision.

Elkins (18-4) is ranked No. 12 among UFC featherweight contenders. He’s known for his suffocating wrestling and he utilized that well against Martins. Elkins kept Martins thinking about the takedown and also landed his fair share of strikes. The 30-year-old Indiana native has won seven of his last nine fights and those losses came to elite 145-pounders Chad Mendes and Jeremy Stephens.

While Elkins has been hot, Dias (21-3-1) has dropped his last two fights against top-10 featherweights Ricardo Lamas and Nik Lentz. Elkins probably won’t be able to dominate the wrestling and grappling game against Dias the way he did Martins. Dias, who fights out of Nova Uniao with Jose Aldo and Renan Barao, is a strong wrestler and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. He owns a win against ranked bantamweight Iuri Alcantara.

UFC Fight Night on FOX Sports 1 from Barueri, Sao Paulo will be headlined by a middleweight contender bout between Lyoto Machida and C.B. Dollaway. Barao will take on Mitch Gagnon in the co-main event.