Prospect in the Spotlight (Jul 19-20): Brendan Allen

Introduction

Tuesday, July 16th, American middleweight prospect Brendan Allen will be in action for Dana White’s Contender Series, where he will be looking to earn a win over Aaron Jeffery. He will be looking to score yet another win, as Allen looks to potentially earn a UFC contract. He represents Roufusport, one of the most respected camps in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Rounded Grappling: Allen is a very good overall grappler, whether he’s forcing the fight to the ground or actually fighting on the ground. He has good takedowns and offensive wrestling. The reason for that is he effectively sets up those takedowns with strikes. He moves forward, cuts off the cage, throws a combination and then goes for the takedown. He normally doesn’t just shoot from the outside; for that reason, he’s more consistent. On the ground, he’s slick. He advances position well to get to an advantageous spot. His submissions are very good too. Some of his submissions are from hurting guys on the feet and finishing on the mat. However, because he’s a good grappler, he sets up submissions from purely grappling most of the time. He has good chokes and grip strength, and is aggressive and active in looking for those submissions. What makes him even more dangerous is that he’s active off his back as well, looking to submit, sweep or stand at all times. See his fight against Chris Harris, where he was taken down, but quickly slapped a triangle choke on his opponent to secure the tap. 

Finisher: What’s even more attractive about Allen is that he’s an absolute finisher. 10 of his 11 wins have come by knockout or submission, mostly the latter of the two. Allen has a great killer instinct, as when he smells blood in the water, he attacks. Allen can tag you on the feet and finish you with strikes (even though it’s been rare for him thus far). If he doesn’t finish you with those strikes, he will submit you on the ground while you’re still trying to collect your thoughts. In grappling exchanges, he advances to spots where he can fish for a number of submissions, where he more times than not he finishes the fight.

Needs Improvement

Cardio: A slight knock on Allen at this point is his cardio. Because he’s so active and aggressive, it tends to wear on his body faster than somebody who fights at more of a controlled pace. When he does get tired, he tends to drop his hands, which opens him up to strikes (see Anthony Hernandez fight). In addition to that, he will get flat footed, which opens him up to takedowns. It’s hard to knock a guy with an exciting style like that of Allen, but it’s tough of keep that kind of pace for anybody competing in combat for 15 minutes.

Inconsistency Against Top Talent: The real knock on Allen, despite the fact he’s just 24, is that he’s yet to break through when given his biggest tests. All three of his professional losses have come to current UFC roster members. They were LFA title fights against fellow top prospects Eryk Anders and the aforementioned Hernandez, as well as a top contender’s fight against Trevin Giles. He finally scored LFA gold with a win over Moses Murrietta, but he did not have the hype or skills of any of the three guys Allen lost to. Now that he won a title fight in a main event, perhaps he’s passed that phase of his career and will move forward accordingly.

Outlook

UFC Mid Carder: Allen is a big, long middleweight at 6’2″ and his ape-hanger arms. He’s also just a young 24-year-old fella that has yet to hit his peak as a professional mixed martial artist. Under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, this kid is going to be really good. He has a high ceiling, no doubt. That considered, Allen seems to be a guy that could peak around the top-25 mark in the UFC middleweight division. The middleweight division is a shark’s tank with many guys who are better at Allen’s strengths than he is right now. If his improvements continue at the rate they are, he could probably push past that. As for now, though, he’s a guy that could main card some Fight Night cards or prelim the PPV/ESPN cards. There’s no doubt he’d be in the Fight of the Night running frequently.

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