In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 23, we saw a pivotal matchup in the featherweight division. Top eleven ranked contenders went head-to-head as Arnold “Almighty” Allen (16-1) took on “Super” Sodiq Yusuff (11-1).
Both of these top contenders were in a very similar position. Both are young, entering their prime and they’re both ready to make that next jump into the UFC‘s premier names at 145 pounds.
For Arnold Allen, this is just his eighth UFC appearance despite making his debut back in 2015. While Allen hasn’t been the most active, he’s definitely been effective. In his UFC career thus far, Allen is a perfect 7-0.
Sodiq Yusuff also held a perfect UFC record coming into today. Yusuff earned himself a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series and he hasn’t looked back. “Super” Sadiq has gone 4-0 and his last win came against the tough Andre Fili.
UFC Vegas 23 Recap
The UFC Vegas 23 co-main event kicked off with no touch of the gloves. Yusuff took the center while Allen was bouncing on the outside. Nasty leg kick from Yusuff starts the striking. A lot of pressure from Yusuff early.
Yusuff tries for a body kick, but Allen catches it and lands a takedown. However, they were against the fence and Yusuff started using the fence to get up. Yusuff uses a guillotine choke attempt to reverse the position and a scramble has them standing again.
More pressure from Yusuff, but Allen lands a big shot that slows the pressure. Allen lands another clean shot, but Yusuff lands a good shot of his own. A big shot from Arnold Allen sits Yusuff down. Allen pushes forward but Yusuff recovers quickly.
Yusuff backs away and Arnold Allen lands a takedown. However, Yusuff again used the fence to get back up. Allen was heavy on the pressure as the two were clinched along the fence. The bell sounds and it’s 1-0 Arnold Allen at UFC Vegas 23.
Entering the second round at UFC Vegas 23, it looks like Arnold Allen has the respect of Sodiq Yusuff. Yusuff goes right back on the pressure to start the second round. Allen was light on his feet and was sliding out of the way of the big shots from Yusuff.
A nice straight left hand lands for Allen and he follows it with an uppercut. A couple of clean straight right hands land for Yusuff. Yusuff is not swinging nearly as wild here in the second and he’s starting to touch Allen more.
Solid low kick lands for Yusuff. A big headkick lands for Arnold Allen and Yusuff is wobbled badly. Allen follows up and Yusuff goes down briefly. However, Yusuff recovered quickly and the two ended up in a clinch.
After a couple of knees from Yusuff, the two separate. More pressure from Yusuff and he lands a good leg kick. He forced a clinch after, but Allen immediately reversed the position and pushed Yusuff against the fence.
Allen was extremely heavy with the shoulder and head pressure in the clinch. The two break just as the round comes to a close. It’s 2-0 Arnold Allen here at UFC Vegas 23.
Entering the final round here at UFC Vegas 23 and Sodiq Yusuff is going to need a finish in this one. Yusuff immediately moves forward and forces a clinch to start the third round. However, Allen immediately reversed the position.
Yusuff forces the break, but Allen immediately shoots in for another takedown. However, Yusuff defended well. Allen got up and forced a clinch against the fence. Yusuff then reverses the position on Allen and tries for his own takedown but couldn’t land it.
The two break and go back to striking. Yusuff was really loading up on his shots and landed a couple, but Allen was able to get a body lock and forced a clinch. “Super” Sodiq reverses the position, but there wasn’t a lot of urgency from him here in the third.
Allen reverses the position with 40 seconds left in the round. It just doesn’t appear that Yusuff has the energy to do anything to get the finish. The round comes to a close and I give Yusuff the round, but Allen the fight 29-28 at UFC Vegas 23.
Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)