This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 82, we saw a battle between two ranked middleweight contenders who were looking to crack into the top ten. Brendan Allen (23-5) was looking to continue his recent dominant stretch as he took on grappling expert Paul Craig (17-7-1).
Craig was making his second appearance at 185 after dropping down from light heavyweight. In his first middleweight bout, he was able to stop Andre Muniz in the second round. However, Brendan Allen is and proved to be a much stiffer test.
When the fight first started, these two almost immediately engaged in a clinch. Allen was able to hit a hip toss which landed him in mount where he controlled a lot of the round. During one of the transitions, Craig was able to lock in a calf slicer which looked to have Allen in a lot of trouble. However, Allen powered through it.
In the second round, Allen was able to do damage on the feet before getting the fight back to the ground. Big elbows from the top cracked open Craig who was looking defeated on the bottom. In the third round, Allen again rocked Craig which forced Craig to shoot. Allen was able to get the back and locked in a choke to get the massive win at UFC Vegas 82.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 82?
Allen entered the bout ranked tenth in the UFC’s middleweight division and I think you’ll see him move up after this fight. He’s now won six fights in a row and he deserves a guy inside the top ten if not someone who currently resides in the top five.
Allen has been very vocal about his annoyance regarding Khamzat Chimaev’s current status at 185. If the UFC wasn’t wanting to give Chimaev the next title shot after Dricus Du Plessis, I would say that Chimaev – Allen would be a sensational matchup to test both men.
If I look at the other contenders, I actually like the idea of Allen taking on Marvin Vettori next. The Italian Dream is ranked fifth in the division, but he’s coming off a loss to Jared Cannonier. I think it’s a great time to match these two up. If Vettori gets the win, he re-establishes himself and if Allen wins, you have a new guy around the top five.