UNIVERSITY graduate Oban Elliott is ready to pass another exam with flying colours as he bids for a textbook victory to continue his pursuit of mixed martial arts greatness, writes Jason Batty.

The new addition to the Blaina-based Tillery Combat team faces his third professional fight at Cage Warriors 108 in Cardiff this Saturday – he finished his first two opponents in style and wants more of the same.

Unbeaten as a pro and amateur, fighting is in the blood of the 21-year-old.

His late father was an amateur boxer who loved the thrill of the fight, and it’s evident Elliott has inherited that desire, as well as plenty of knockout power.

He had his first amateur bout at 19 and knocked out five of six opponents on his way to a Cage Warriors contract, loving every minute of it along the way.

“There’s a martial artist and then there’s a fighter,” he said. “I am a fighter’s fighter and I always will be. I enjoy the scrap at the end of it.”

Elliott, from Merthyr Tydfil, is fast becoming one of the hottest MMA prospects in the UK.

Having crafted his trade competing on martial arts shows since he was 13, he is fully prepared for whatever lies is front of him, and he is unnerved by the big steps his journey is taking.

“It has been a dream since I was a kid – the walkout, the production, the crowd,” he added.

“I love it all, especially with Cage Warriors in Cardiff, the show is massive down there.

“When the spotlight comes on, that’s where I really thrive.

“People say about nerves when you have 4,000 people watching, but it does the opposite for me.

“I’m just comfortable in there and that is going to translate throughout my career.

“The bigger it gets, the more I’ll keep improving. Pressure makes diamonds.”

Standing in his way on Saturday night is Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt Steven Hooper, but he holds no fear for the Welshman.

Elliott not only possesses dynamite in his hands, he is meticulous in his approach.

His unrivalled work ethic has bred an unshakeable self-belief and he feels he will knockout the ground specialist in two rounds.

He said: “They all start on the feet. You can be a black belt on the ground or a black belt in judo, but if you are getting hit on the chin it doesn’t matter, they all go down the same way.

“If I perform like I do in the gym, I will beat anyone in Cage Warriors.

“I train hard and am disciplined near enough all year around. I don’t cut any corners. I don’t dodge any rounds. I chase the hardest rounds (training) every time.

“It’s like revising for an exam. If you know the textbook from start to finish, nothing can jump out and surprise you.”

Elliott is no stranger to textbooks and exams.

Over the last three years, while training and competing, he studied for a business degree at Bristol University.

The main goal, however, is signing to the UFC, and he has plans to keep his degree on the shelf for now.

If he passes his test on Saturday night, he moves another step closer to his dream of signing to the world’s biggest promotion.

“I am dedicating my life to this sport,” he said.

“I feel like a world champion defending his belt, hand on heart. I’ll just keep beating what’s in front of me and get to the end goal, which is being UFC champion.”

* Five Welsh MMA fighters will be on the main card at Cage Warriors 108 at the Viola Arena in Cardiff on Saturday. Visit for tickets.