Brendan Allen made a huge statement in his impromptu main event at UFC Vegas 70 after tapping out Andre Muniz in the third round.
Originally scheduled as the co-main event, the middleweights got the bump to the top of the card after Nikita Krylov suffered food poisoning that scrapped his matchup against Ryan Spann. With a chance to shine under an even brighter spotlight, Allen made the most of his opportunity after displaying strong striking before eventually taking Muniz to the ground and wrapping up a rear-naked choke to finish the noted Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist.
The end came at 4:25 in the third round as Allen picks up the biggest win of his UFC career while handing Muniz his first loss inside the octagon.
“I had so many people sending me so much hate stuff and ‘you’re going to lose’ and this and that — to all the people that supported me, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Allen said afterwards. “Thank you so much. To everyone that doubted me, two [middle fingers] and I’m laughing to the bank, baby.
“I’m very blessed that Andre took the fight. So much respect to that guy. Thank you so much.”
The middleweights were throwing heavy leather from the first exchange with Allen tagging Muniz with a hard shot that appeared to wobble the Brazilian briefly before he reset in the center of the cage. Muniz eventually fired back with a huge straight right that cracked Allen on the chin but he just walked through the punch as they continued trading blows.
While Muniz wasn’t as clean with his combinations, he was throwing with power behind every shot thrown, which kept Allen honest and prevented him from really putting together two or three strikes in succession.
As the fight moved into the second round, the exchanges on the feet were still even and that led to Muniz finally turn to his grappling as he looked for a takedown. Just when it looked like Muniz would get the upper hand, Allen rolled through a reversal and ended up on top of the Brazilian.
From there, Allen measured some well-timed punches and elbows as he looked to just grind Muniz into the canvas. Allen even managed to advance his position into side control, which allowed him to maintain control with Muniz just stuck underneath him.
With time ticking away to the final horn, Muniz tried to turn the tables with a reset in the third round as he started letting his hands go with more confidence. That led to Allen grabbing a kick attempt and slamming Muniz down to the ground.
Allen quickly advanced to look for an arm triangle choke and then he transitioned to the back where he began fishing for the rear-naked choke. Muniz defended effectively at the start but Allen continued to threaten from the back until he finally slipped his arm under the chin.
A split second later, Allen had the choke secured and with a grimace on his face Muniz was forced to tap out while suffering a submission loss for the first time in his 28-fight career.
The win will undoubtedly propel Allen up the middleweight rankings and now he’s got revenge on his mind for a couple of past losses or perhaps taking on another top 15 opponent following his huge win on Saturday.
“I’m trying to fight everybody in this witch,” Allen said. “I want to run it with Sean Strickland, let’s run that back. Chris Curtis, let’s run that back.
“If neither of those two work, let’s go Jack Hermansson, we were supposed to run it a couple of times, let’s officially run that or Dricus Du Plessis, no matter what happens next weekend [at UFC 285], you’re still ahead of me. Let’s get this s***.”