Middleweight action between the hard-hitting Punahele Soriano and former LFA champion Brendan Allen capped off the UFC Vegas 32 preliminary card on Saturday.
The featured prelim found Allen looking for his second win of 2021. Hawaii’s Soriano attempted to keep his perfect record intact, and earn his third win inside the octagon.
Not at all surprisingly, Soriano was taking some big swings early, backing Allen up against the fence. The more-experienced Allen targeted the body, right hands and kicks firing at Soriano’s mid-section. Allen would find himself under fire after connecting to the side of the body with a kick, backing up. Soriano’s power was a threat, but Allen was using some smart shot selection as the round wore on. In the final minute, Soriano found himself dealing with a headlock following an exchange; Allen then hit home with a sharp combination punctuated with a kick to the body. Close round.
The second round represented the only time Soriano had left the opening frame outside of his Contender Series appearance. Allen continued to target the body, adding a low kick to mix things up. But it was the body kicks that were starting to add up. Soriano stuffed a takedown attempt, but the hulking fighter was waning. Allen found success with knees in the clinch, but even a tired Soriano was capable of glimpses of power. A low kick by Allen could have given Soriano a breather, but he opted to push onward.
By the time the third round rolled around, Soriano looked absolutely exhausted. He’d unload a heavy left hand about 90 seconds into the frame, but Allen ate that. His ability to eat shots when necessary, and avoid the bulk of them, were making a Soriano Hail Mary increasingly unlikely. A smart game plan of targeting the body by Allen was the story of the fight, and carried him to a well-earned decision victory. For Soriano, his 0 has exited stage left, but it leaves him with a valuable lesson as to what he needs to work on moving forward.
Heavy hitters brought the intensity!! 👊
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2021
Official Result: Brendan Allen def. Punahele Soriano by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)