Brendan Allen, a rising star in the middleweight division, has firmly placed himself in the conversation for a title shot following a compelling victory at UFC Fight Night 232.
The UFC Apex in Las Vegas set the stage for Allen’s pivotal showdown with Paul Craig, a bout with significant implications in the middleweight hierarchy. In this high-stakes encounter, Allen (23-5 MMA, 11-2 UFC) showcased his fighting acumen, securing a win that resonates with the message: he’s ready for the top echelon of the division.
From the outset, the fight unfurled at a calculated pace, with each fighter meticulously searching for openings. Allen’s approach was marked by a higher activity rate and precision in his strikes, gradually taking the upper hand in this chess match of physical prowess. The first round was a showcase of tactical grappling, with Allen thwarting Craig’s takedown attempts and maneuvering into dominant positions, teasing with submission attempts but finding a determined adversary in Craig.
The second round’s narrative was painted with fierce exchanges, displaying the raw power and resilience of both fighters. However, Allen’s superiority began to crystalize as he adeptly gained top position, unleashing a barrage of elbows that left Craig visibly damaged and under relentless pressure.
Round 3 commenced, and with it came Allen’s moment of triumph. Demonstrating his grappling superiority, Allen quickly navigated to Craig’s back, sinking in a deep rear-naked choke. Craig, known for his resilience and submission defense, found no escape this time, tapping out to avoid unconsciousness – a testament to the sheer efficacy of Allen’s technique.
With this victory, Allen not only extends his winning streak but also cements his status as a serious contender in the division. His previous win over Andre Muniz at UFC Fight Night 220 was a stepping stone, but this triumph over Craig speaks volumes about his evolution and readiness for the elite.
In his post-fight remarks, Allen left no room for doubt about his aspirations, stating boldly, “I think I deserve it, I’ve earned it. I’ve beat everyone they put in front of me, I finished them. Whoever the UFC says that is, I don’t care who. I’m trying to fight, man. I’m the No. 1 contender. I’m the best in the world, I’m here to prove it. If you say otherwise, come show me, don’t tell me.” These words echo the sentiment of a fighter who’s not just chasing titles, but also seeking to etch his name in the annals of UFC history.
The undercard of UFC Fight Night 232 also provided a canvas for other skilled fighters to showcase their talents.
While some bouts were a chess match of calculated strikes, others ended in dramatic finishes that left fans exhilarated.
Michael Morales vs Jake Matthews
Michael Morales emerged victorious against Jake Matthews in a fight that was a demonstration of technical skill and strategic execution. Both fighters approached the bout with caution, focusing on precision rather than aggression. Morales, with his higher activity and significant strikes, managed to sway the judges in a unanimous decision. Despite expectations of a more aggressive showdown, the fight became a showcase of measured and controlled martial arts, proving that sometimes finesse trumps ferocity in the octagon.
Payton Talbott vs Nich Aguirre
In a match that started with Aguirre’s early dominance on the ground, Payton Talbott turned the tables in a stunning manner. While Aguirre initially controlled the fight with takedowns and back control, Talbott’s resilience was evident. Round 2 saw Talbott scoring an early knockdown and taking control, setting the stage for an unexpected finish in the third round. Talbott’s victory, secured with a rear-naked choke, underscored the importance of persistence and the ability to capitalize on opportunities in MMA.
Luana Pinheiro vs Amanda Ribas
The bout between Luana Pinheiro and Amanda Ribas was a rollercoaster of momentum shifts. Pinheiro started strong, causing immediate damage to Ribas with effective striking. However, Ribas’s relentless assault in the second round, despite lacking in damage, showcased her determination. The final round was where the tides turned dramatically. Ribas’s stunning combination, culminating in a spinning wheel kick, led to a decisive TKO, highlighting her ability to overcome adversity and strike when it matters most.
Uros Medic vs Myktybek Orolbai
The clash between Uros Medic and short-notice debutant Myktybek Orolbai was a testament to the unpredictability of MMA. Medic began with an early advantage, but Orolbai quickly seized control, dominating the first round with multiple takedowns and near-submission attempts. His dominance continued into the second round, culminating in a neck crank submission that marked a memorable debut victory. Orolbai’s performance was a reminder of the raw talent and surprise elements new fighters bring to the UFC.
Full Results for UFC Fight Night 232:
- Paul Craig defeated by Brendan Allen via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 0:38
- Jake Matthews defeated by Michael Morales via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jordan Leavitt defeated by Chase Hooper via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:58
- Nick Aguirre defeated by Payton Talbott via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 0:58
- Luana Pinheiro defeated by Amanda Ribas via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 3:53
- Uros Medic defeated by Myktybek Orolbai via submission (neck crank) – Round 2, 4:12
- Jonathan Pearce defeated by Joanderson Brito via submission (ninja choke) – Round 2, 3:54
- Chad Anheliger defeated by Jose Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:49
- Denis Tiuliulin defeated by Christian Duncan via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:24
- Lucas Alexander defeated by Jeka Saragih via KO (punches) – Round 1, 1:31
- Lucie Pudilova defeated by Ailin Perez via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Trey Ogden vs. Nikolas Motta ended in a no contest (referee error) – Round 3, 3:11
- Charles Johnson defeated by Rafael Estevam via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)