UFC Middleweight’s Hottest Fighter, Brendan Allen Tries to Steal Marvin Vettori’s Spot in Rankings

January 5, 2024
3 months

Marvin Vettori took one of the most vicious, sustained beatings in UFC history last June. Despite absorbing a UFC record 249 significant strikes from Jared Cannonier, Vettori survived to see the scorecards. It’s hard to imagine there won’t be a lasting impact.

Eighth-ranked Brendan Allen is planning to put Vettori’s chin to the test when the pair headline a fight night card at the UFC Apex on April 6, according to MMA latest updates. Vettori, a former middleweight title challenger, is still ranked fifth in the division. But Vettori’s ranking will be in danger against Allen.

Allen has won six straight fights and appears to have shored up some of his weaknesses after struggling earlier in his career. What has made Allen more appealing is that he isn’t just piling up wins. Allen is motivated to prevent every bout from seeing the judges’ scorecards. Allen has submitted his last four opponents and will be a challenge for Vettori, an Italian fighter known for his wrestling.

This fight has the potential to be a strong headliner and produce a memorable result.

‘The Italian Dream’ Running Out of Time

It’s hard to say that Vettori will never be a UFC champion, as he is only 30 years old. But Vettori already has 27 fights and has been at the top of the division for the past three years. One performance that will haunt Vettori is his fight against Israel Adesanya at UFC 263 in June 2021.

Vettori had a shot at the middleweight championship but could not grapple effectively. Adesanya had a significant edge in the standup and could outclass Vettori. While Adesanya has since lost the title to Sean Strickland, Vettori has been passed up in the rankings by other top contenders.

Part of that has been because Vettori needs to improve on a better run of form. Including the loss to Cannonier, Vettori has lost three of his past five fights. Those fights have all come against competition — former champions Robert Whittaker and Adesanya, in addition to Cannonier — but that won’t help Vettori earn another shot at UFC gold, according to the best MMA news site.

Vettori’s path to a title would be stringing together several highly impressive victories. Either that or stepping in on short notice if someone were to miss a fight due to injury.

Allen Ready for Shot at Top Competition

Allen has always looked like a fighter primed for the top of the middleweight division. All Allen needed to figure out was how to stay out of danger when fighting a top striker. Allen’s first loss in the UFC came in a TKO defeat to Sean Strickland in November 2020.

Strickland isn’t a fighter known for his power. Allen’s other loss in the UFC came via TKO against Chris Curtis in December 2021. Curtis packs a lot more power but is regarded as a fringe contender. Allen didn’t let the loss to Curtis linger.

In the ensuing fight, Allen went up to light heavyweight and submitted Sam Alvey. Since returning to middleweight, Allen has won over Jacob Malkoun, Krzysztof Jotko, Andre Muniz, Bruno Silva, and Paul Craig.

The wins over Jotko, Muniz, Silva, and Craig also came by submission, giving Allen 14 wins via submission during his career. Allen is one of a new wave of fighters who found their way to the UFC via the Dana White Contender’s Series television show. Jamahal Hill became the first alumni of the show to win the title when he beat Glover Teixeira to win the light heavyweight championship.

Middleweight Title Picture is Crowded

Both men hope a win in this fight will move them closer to the front of the line in the middleweight title picture. However, there are several scenarios that are likely to play out before either gets a chance. Dricus du Plessis is the top contender now and will fight Strickland for the belt later this month.

While there is a chance there is an immediate rematch if the fight is close, it is also possible that if Adesanya wants to return, he may be next in line. There’s another exciting young contender that may also be pushed to the front of the line.

Khamzat Chimaev beat former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman during a middleweight title eliminator in late 2003. However, the undefeated Chimaev hurt his hand in the fifth and required surgery. He also recently posted pictures that suggested he may be ill as well.

Whittaker and Cannonier are in the top four of the rankings but aren’t necessarily appetizing options for the championship fight. Whittaker is a former champion but looked bad in his last fight, being knocked out by du Plessis.

Cannonier dominated Vettori but laid an egg when he had his title shot against Adesanya a few years back.

Allen Has the Challenge of Trying to Break the Unbreakable

Vettori took an inhuman amount of punishment during his fight with Cannonier. It’s hard to believe that Vettori won’t suffer residual damage from that fight. By the time Vettori and Allen fight in April, it will have been ten months since that fight.

While Allen can knock fighters out, that’s not something anyone has figured out against Vettori. Vettori has never finished during his career. All seven of his losses have come via decision. While this fight is essential for both men, there will be more pressure on Vettori.

Vettori has lost three of his past five fights and has shown he has trouble beating other top contenders. Allen has yet to win over someone in the top five. If Allen can figure out a way to stop the man no one else has figured out how to stop, it would go a long way toward cementing his status as a title contender.

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