While it may seem odd to say the timing of a global pandemic worked out for someone, in ways it did for lightweight Evan Elder.
Coming off an in injury in his most recent fight this past January over Orell Fisher at Shamrock FC 327, Elder was able to use the time during lockdown to heal up and prepare himself for the next step in his career.
“I broke my hand in that fight (versus Fisher), so the whole coronavirus ended up working out, giving me longer to heal,” Elder told MMaWeekly.com “I didn’t have to rush anything.
“I’ve been waiting a while to get back in the cage, but I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, so it’s given me more time to prepare and get ready for better opponents and a better stage like the LFA.”
Though he had to make adjustments to his training to compensate for his injury and then the coronavirus lockdown, Elder believes he was able to improve his game over the past seven months.
“I believe no matter what’s going on, whether you have an injury or the gym’s closed, you can improve in some way,” said Elder. “It doesn’t have to be physically, it can be mentally.
“Whether it’s reading or meditating or getting your right; I think the mind is the most underutilized tool we have; it’s unbelievable what we can do with our mind. I feel like I’ve absolutely 100-percent improved.”
On Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., Elder (3-0) will make his promotional debut versus Kegan Gennrich (2-1) in a main card 155-pound bout at LFA 88.
“It seems like from what I can see Kegan is pretty good,” Elder said. “He’s pretty tall. He’s going to have a decent reach advantage. I think I’ll be significantly stronger and a lot better of an athlete.
“My key to victory is going straight across the cage, apply the pressure, not get out of his face, and just beat him up. I think I’m just going to break him. At the risk of sounding arrogant I believe he’s not the same caliber of fighter I am. All I’ve got to do is go out there and perform and I’ll take the victory.”
While Elder does have an idea of where he’d like to take the remainder of his 2020, for now his mind is set on Gennrich and picking up his first LFA win.
“I never overlook a fight, so my goal is getting a win this upcoming weekend,” said Elder. “I’m hoping to get this win and then maybe at least one or two more fights before the end of the year.
“I’m really trying to stay active as possible. I basically live my life in a fight camp, so I’m ready to just get the ball rolling and get one or two more fights by the end of the year.”