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Brendan Allen punches Andre Muniz of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Brendan Allen’s Chance To Break Through

Taking A Risk Doesn't Phase Brendan Allen At All As He Hopes To Continue Climbing The Rankings At UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Topuria

If it feels like Brendan Allen has been on the doorstep of being a real middleweight contender for years, that’s because he has been.

The Louisiana native has shown that he has all the talent needed to make a run to the top of the division, but he’s hit speedbumps at critical junctures that have prevented him from ascending the rankings.

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Allen enters this weekend’s UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Topuria riding on a high. He’s won four in a row and he’s done it in impressive fashion. Although this is exactly where he has lost his momentum in the past, this isn’t the same version of Brendan Allen.

Brendan Allen works for a submission against Andre Muniz of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Brendan Allen works for a submission against Andre Muniz of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The difference this time around is the way that Allen mentally approaches the fight. He deals with things using a completely different lens and can handle the pressure and anxiety in a healthy way. 

“I just focused on my mentality and dealing with things in a healthier manner and being able to let things go rather than just holding on to it or to trying to block it out,” Allen said. “I used to just be so anxious and so nervous and just let that physically mess me up because I was so drained that I didn’t get to physically show out.

“I still feel like I’m coming up. I still haven’t reached my prime yet, but it’s coming and I’m just trying to take it fight by fight. I’m just focused on what I can focus on and control what I can control. Everything else is going to be what it’s going to be.”

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The step-by-step approach has helped Allen put together a nice four-fight run that’s landed him in the middleweight Top 15. He was initially scheduled to face Jack Hermansson, but after Hermansson fell out of the fight, Allen agreed to face the unranked Silva.

It’s a risky move to accept a fight against an unranked or lower-ranked fighter after initially being booked to face a higher-ranked opponent. On two separate occasions during Allen’s UFC tenure, he came out on the wrong side of that risk. 

Brendan Allen battles Krzysztof Jotko of Poland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 01, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Brendan Allen battles Krzysztof Jotko of Poland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 01, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

In 2020, he was on a seven-fight win streak and was scheduled to face Ian Heinisch, but Heinisch was forced out of the fight and then Allen was knocked out by Sean Strickland.

In 2021, he was on a two-fight win streak and was scheduled to face Brad Tavares, but Tavares withdrew from the bout and then Allen was knocked out by Chris Curtis.

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Those are Allen’s only two losses in his UFC career, and even though this situation feels eerily similar, he didn’t hesitate to say yes when offered a dangerous replacement fight.

“My management was like, I can sit down and wait for someone else, or I can just fight, and I want to fight,” Allen said. “So at least if I win, I’m treated as if I just beat Jack. So that keeps us on the same trajectory and that’s getting a top five next, so that’s what I’m focused on.”
 

Brendan Allen Secures First Round Rear Naked Choke | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Yan
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Brendan Allen Secures First Round Rear Naked Choke | UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Yan
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With 20 of his 23 professional wins by knockout, Silva brings the heat every time he steps into the Octagon. Allen is expecting that and he’s looking to use “Blindado’s” aggression against him.

“He’s going to try and knock my block off. He’s going to try to put me to sleep,” Allen said of Silva. “There’s more emphasis on how aggressive he is compared to other guys, but every guy is coming to put you to sleep. Every guy is coming to try and finish you. So, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.

“I should get him out of there or beat him 30-27. That’s kind of what’s in my head.”

A statement win over Silva could help set Allen up for a big fight in the latter half of 2023. Although Allen isn’t too fond of mapping out what’s next, he can’t help but get excited at the prospect of matching up with some of the middleweight division’s top contenders.

If he could have his pick, he would love to scrap with either Jared Cannonier or Dricus Du Plessis.

“For me, it’s finish this guy; the focus is all on Bruno, but get the job done by any means necessary,” Allen said. “Then look to fight a Cannonier because he’s looking for that title shot, too. They want new blood. I’m kind of that new blood, per se, even though I got a lot of fights. [A fight with Cannonier] also puts title implications on the fight, and if that don’t come through, then I just want to fight Dricus.”

It's safe to say that this showdown with Silva is a major moment in Allen’s career. The fights and opportunities he wants are just on the other side of an impressive performance versus Silva.

All he has to do is go out there and take care of business.

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UFC Fight Night: Emmett vs Topuria took place live from the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on June 24, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass