The Severe Spotlight: Brendan Allen

Brendan Allen snaps the win streak of Andre Muniz with a rear naked choke in the 3rd round of their impromptu main event.

Allen held a level of composure, and assuredness throughout the fight that had been questioned in previous performances. He opened his account with some inside low kicks, happy to find his range patiently. The first exchange of strikes comes with Allen jamming Muniz’s naked kick to the body with a clean right hand. Allen uses this jamming approach throughout the fight to stifle Muniz’s single attacks very well.

As the round continues, we see improvements in the footwork and setups of Brendan Allen, his pressuring, his triangle patterns, and his general cutting of the cage went to work, as he circled Muniz onto a beautiful right hand down the pipe, so clean it didn’t touch the sides on the way through. Brendan Allen of old might have leapt on the Muniz stumble, either dispelling more valuable resource from the gas tank than necessary or worse left himself open to counters. Yet, what we saw was an advancement, a mini swarm if you will and then a quick back off when Allen realised that Muniz was coherent and present enough to be angling off well. Growth.

We enter the first grappling exchange with 1:29 left on the clock. Muniz closes the distance looking for a double leg. Allen finds his underhook, splits his stance and begins to turn off the cage. Muniz transitions to a single leg, with Allen defending with good head position and good hand fighting. He limp legs out after breaking the posture of Muniz and circles away. The precedent has been set.

Allen bounds out to the centre of the octagon to start the second round. Allen makes a nice adjustment to step out to his left; throwing a body shot as a counter to Muniz’s continuous choice to throw single shots, specifically the right hand. Regardless of that good work, Muniz works his way back into the round, punishing Allen’s lack of head movement and lack of distance management. Allen will need to continue to improve his defensive striking and look to capitalise on the intelligent decisions he has made throughout the fight should he continue to climb the ranks.

There is a slim margin to which Allen is winning the striking exchanges, and he does so with shots like the low kick he throws with 3:20 left into the second round. He catches Muniz square and drops a strong low kick into the Brazilians leg, off balancing him.

Allen does one better than in round one, as Muniz shoots a double. Allen down blocks and swims an underhook. Muniz lands a gorgeous knee-block turn takedown. However, Allen utilises a combination of his whizzer to pull down on Muniz, his right foot to drive through the throw, and his left knee bumping Muniz up and over the shoulder line of Allen. This combination allows Allen to ride the takedown, and end in top position. Allen, having secured a head and arm grip, passes with a clean leg pummel, and a hip switch to consolidate side control.

The third round continues much as the first two did in the striking realms. With 2:08 left on the clock, Allen punishes Muniz for a naked kick thrown catching the kick, progressing the grips to a high-crotch, and dumping Muniz right into side control. Allen immediately goes on the hunt for the head and arm choke, using a combination of grip sets, and shots to open up the space between Muniz’s right elbow and his right rib cage, looking to drive his head in between. Allen’s dilemma of the continual searching for elbow/hip space causes Muniz to have to react more aggressively to retrieve the space. Allen capitalises on one of these escapes to step directly over to mount.

Muniz begins to give his back, and Allen does a fantastic job of keeping his head tight to the shoulder of Muniz, forcing him to decide between overexerting himself to turtle, or to concede bottom position in the mount. Muniz settles back to mount for a moment, however Allen’s grips on the choke have deepened. The arm of Muniz now fully lofted above his head. Sensing the depth of the choke, Muniz now scrambles aggressively, giving Allen his back.

The choking sequence here is beautiful in its simplicity. As Allen is sinking in hooks, he capitalises on the mistake Muniz makes of addressing the top hook and attacks his neck. Muniz is forced to fight the hands, and Allen just continues to punch chokes until he feels confident in the short choke configuration he has. He stretches Muniz out by hipping into his spine, and squeezes the choke through the jaw of Muniz, forcing his chin to rise. With the choke flush on the neck of Muniz, the panic sets in, the grimace etches across the Brazilians face, and he is forced to tap.

Submitting Muniz after dominating every grappling exchange is a big achievement for Brendan Allen. The era of singular specialisms is dead.

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