UFC 297 Recap: Movsar Evloev defeats Arnold Allen in entertaining scrap

MMA: UFC 263-Evloev vs Dawodu
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off the main card at UFC 297 was a big time matchup in the featherweight division. Top contenders battled it out as Arnold Allen (19-2) was looking to hand Movsar Evloev (17-0) his first professional loss.

This was Allen’s first fight since his headliner at UFC Kansas City last April against Max Holloway. In that fight, Allen fell behind early but really came on strong late. It still wasn’t enough to win a decision, but he really had a decent showing. Prior to that loss, he had won 12 straight fights including a first round finish over Dan Hooker.

Movsar Evloev is considered to be one of the most dangerous contenders in the featherweight division. There aren’t many weaknesses in his game, but he really excels in his grappling. The last time we saw him, he defeated Diego Lopes by a decision and it wasn’t an easy fight.

UFC 297 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 297 main card opener kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Evloev holds the center and Allen is light on his feet as he circles early. Body kick from Evloev and Allen starts to pressure. Lead right from Allen lands and Evloev goes for a head kick. 1-2 now from Allen.

Big jab from Allen pops the head back of Evloev. Right hand now from Evloev lands. Big shot to the body lands for Allen and Evloev counters with a jab. Another good body shot lands for Allen. Big takedown attempt from Evloev and he nearly gets Allen down. The fence saves Allen there and Evloev is pressing him against the fence.

Allen breaks free and they’re back to striking. Both men trade jabs in the center. Right hand lands for Evloev now. Head kick blocked by Allen. Check left hook lands for Evloev. Big jab from Allen lands. Evloev fires back and then goes for a big takedown. Allen forces multiple scrambles and gets back to his feet but Evloev has ahold of him. Big takedown at the end of the round and that likely seals the first for Evloev at UFC 297.

Round 2

Entering the second round and it was a close first round where both men had their moments. They touch gloves and here we go with round two. Knee to the body lands for Evloev and Allen lands a jab. Nice shot to the body lands for Allen. Right hand and a left for Allen.

Head kick from Evloev misses and Allen blasts one back. Another head kick is caught by Allen and he nearly throws Evloev to the ground. Jab to the body from Allen. Another jab from Allen. Big takedown attempt from Evloev and he gets Allen down with ease. However, Allen gets right back up to this feet. Evloev throws him right back down.

Once again, Allen is right back on his feet and Evloev presses him against the fence. Heavy cage pressure from Evloev here with just about 90 seconds left in the round. Allen breaks free and they’re back to striking. Allen pressing forward now and he lands a jab. Big knee from Evloev.

Long shot lands for Allen. Big uppercut lands for Allen and Evloev lands a counter. Both men trade shots in the center. Big shot from Evloev drops Allen briefly and Evloev is pressing on the gas now. Allen is wobbly near the end of the second. The round ends and it’s likely 2-0 Evloev at UFC 297.

Round 3

Entering the final round and Allen likely needs to finish the fight here. Evloev moves forward and nearly eats a big uppercut from Allen. Now Allen is the one pushing the pace here. Big combination lands for Allen and those snapped the head of Evloev. Another big shot from Allen and he’s definitely fighting with urgency here.

Leg kick from Evloev. Nasty shot to the body lands for Allen. Big left straight lands for Allen. A couple of big knees from Allen but Evloev had his hand on the ground so they were illegal. Brief stoppage of the action and a hard warning from the referee. Back at it and Evloev goes for two takedowns right away and Allen defends both.

Allen pressing forward with two minutes left in the final round. Body kick from Evloev. Body shot now from Allen. Big shot to the body from Allen and Evloev goes for a takedown. Allen has a deep choke but Evloev gets out of it. Evloev back on the cage pressure with 30 seconds left. Allen with some nice elbows and he defends the takedowns. The The fight ends and Allen takes the final round but likely Evloev will stay perfect at UFC 297.

Movsar Evloev def. Arnold Allen by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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