This past Saturday night on the main card of UFC 297, an entertaining featherweight scrap kicked off the PPV. Top contenders battled it out as Movsar Evloev (18-0) was looking to remain unbeaten as he took on Arnold Allen (19-3).
This was a big test for the unbeaten Evloev as Allen was considered one of the best in the world. Allen entered the octagon coming off a loss to Max Holloway, but prior to that loss to Holloway, he had won 12 straight fights.
The first round was very even between both fighters. I thought Allen did a great job of using his striking, but Evloev had his own moments. That said, late in the round, Evloev was able to get some takedowns and had control long enough to seal the first round for him.
The second round was again even, but Evloev had even more success. He was able to hurt Allen on the feet and he landed more takedowns giving him a 2-0 advantage on the scorecards. Allen, knowing he need a finish, went all out in the final round. He was able to stuff takedowns and clearly won the final round in my eyes.
However, in the end, all three judges at UFC 297 were in agreement that Movsar Evloev won the first two rounds. Thus, he won the unanimous decision and moved to 18-0.
What’s next after UFC 297?
This was a huge test for Movsar Evloev and he passed that test beautifully. After the fight was over, Evloev talked about the upcoming fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria saying that he would like to fight with winner. With Max Holloway fighting Justin Gaethje at lightweight, the top of the featherweight division appears open.
However, I don’t think he’s going to get a title shot off this win. I think he’ll need one more win before the UFC will grant him a title shot. Plus, if Ilia Topuria defeats Volkanovski, I can assure you that they’ll have an immediate rematch considering Volkanovski’s reign as champion.
So, who should Evloev face next? I think a great fight would be him against Josh Emmett. Emmett is coming off a huge knockout over Bryce Mitchell and he’s just two fights removed from an interim title fight. He has great takedown defense and ungodly power that would put Evloev to the test.
Another option would be the winner of the Yair Rodriguez – Brian Ortega fight that goes down next month at UFC Mexico. Whoever wins that fight would be right in the title picture and them against Evloev would make for a great fight.