Las Vegas, NV — He wasn’t supposed to be in the main event at UFC Vegas 70 on Saturday night, but that’s exactly where Brendan Allen ended up.
Allen (21-5) was the beneficiary of Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann falling through at the very last minute, with the news announced at the start of the Fight Night event’s main card. Already anchoring the co-main event with Andre Muniz, not much changed for the middleweight — but he was willing to go five rounds if need be.
“Honestly at times I just pushed the thought away, and other times it excited me,” Allen told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight about the change. “I was hoping they’d come in and tell me I got a little bonus.”
That little bonus, of course, would be to extend the fight an extra two rounds. “We could do five rounds if need be because I trained for it. I’ve done five rounds before, it’s nothing new to me, I’ve done two or three of those, four or five rounds. I’ve been scheduled for I think four or five. So it’s nothing new but hey, come show me the money and I’m with it.”
Five rounds didn’t happen. Three rounds nearly did, but Allen found the submission late in the third. That has impressed many, especially due to Muniz’s own pedigree on the ground. The Brazilian, after all, retired Jacare Souza with a broken arm.
The plan wasn’t exactly to test Muniz on the mat, however. “My ego says just go out, jump guard and see what’s up. That’s my ego, right? My intelligence and my skill said let’s test him where he’s not so good at,” Allen admitted.
While Allen expected to be taken down by Muniz, his team assured him it wouldn’t happen. “As soon as I felt him, I knew he had nothing for me,” said Allen. Muniz did eventually take Allen down, but Allen swept immediately.
That was reassuring.
“It just reassured what my circle has been telling me. I think sometimes I’ve lacked; obviously I’ve talked about it with a sports psychologist, I’m lacking mentally. And I think good self-talk, using like a cookie jar method of things that I’ve done in the past, that I know I can do — I think when that happened it just reassured that yeah, I’m really that good. I’m that damn good. It just opens me up to be more of myself, show more of me, and when I’m aware and I’m in the moment, I’m present, and I’m Brendan Allen, I’m good enough. I’m damn good enough.”
“No matter what happens I feel like that’s really my thing right now,” the 27-year old, now on a four-fight win streak, continued. “As long as I’m Brendan Allen, no matter if I win or lose, I can take my hat off and look in the mirror and be proud of what I’ve done, win or lose. As long as I’m myself, they’ve got to be damn good to beat me.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 70 post-fight media appearance with Brendan Allen above.