Daily Star


Octagon’s Brad Pitt has beaten all the odds


OBAN ELLIOTT feels at home in the biggest Fight Club in the world, with the “Brad Pitt” of the UFC ready for his big screen debut.

The Welsh welterweig­ht will step into the octagon for the first time tonight at UFC 298 in Anaheim, California, which is appropriat­ely just a stone’s throw from Hollywood.

Having worked on his craft domestical­ly, most notably in Cage Warriors, the 26-year-old is now ready for his close up under MMA’s brightest light.

Elliott (inset), who faces Val Woodburn, said: “When I was in Cage Warriors, I felt like Oban Elliott in Cage Warriors is like putting Brad Pitt in Coronation Street. It didn’t feel right back then. Now it feels right.

“The UFC doesn’t necessaril­y feel bigger. It felt more strange doing Cage Warriors. As a kid I didn’t sit back and watch Cage Warriors cards, I sat there watching the UFC.

“I sat there thinking that (announcer) Bruce Buffer was going to be screaming at me. But I had to go through these other things, step by step, and now I am home.

“It is a bit surreal, but it is brilliant, isn’t it? You get a scumbag like me flown halfway across the world to fight in California… come on!”

‘The Welsh Gangster,’ who hails from Merthyr Tydfil, has a tough backstory a Tinseltown script writer would struggle to pen. Elliott’s father, Paul, took his own life when he was seven years old, while a heart arrhythmia nearly ended his promising career before it had even got started. Having won his UFC contract on president Dana White’s Contenders Series last August, Elliott is determined to make the most of his opportunit­y. He added: “With a good run in the UFC I can secure my family’s future. I want to buy my mother a house in Cornwall. That has always been one of my goals. “I had a rough start in life but I always thought, ‘This career I am going to build in the UFC will be so good that it will hopefully help make up for the rough times.’ “Now look where I am. I have done myself and my family and, more importantl­y, my late father proud already.”

■ WATCH Oban Elliott take on Val Woodburn tonight live on TNT Sports 1 at UFC 298: Volkanovsk­i v Topuria. Coverage begins on UFC Fight Pass at 11pm.

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ACTION HERO: Oban Elliott (right) goes on the attack
■ ACTION HERO: Oban Elliott (right) goes on the attack
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