Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 82, we are going to see a middleweight battle between two ranked contenders who are trying to break into the top ten. Brendan Allen (22-5) is looking to continue his current dominant run as he takes on “Bearjew” Paul Craig (17-6-1).
Starting with Craig, this is his second bout in the middleweight division. The former top light heavyweight contender who owns the lone victory over former champion Jamahal Hill, dropped to 185 last year. He made his divisional debut a UFC Fight Night in July and got a second round TKO win over Andre Muniz which put him right into the rankings at middleweight.
Now, he gets to take on another ranked contender in Brendan Allen. Brendan Allen won his first three UFC fights including a win over Kevin Holland and then he ran into current middleweight champ Sean Strickland. Allen was stopped by Strickland and then he got stopped by Chris Curtis a few fights later.
Since then, Allen has been on a roll. He’s won five straight including four of five by finish. His last fight came back in June when the UFC was on ABC and he took on Bruno Silva. Allen was looking to make a statement and he did submitting him in the first round.
UFC Vegas 82 Prediction
We all know what Paul Craig does well. He has one of the most dangerous guards in all of the UFC and has more triangle choke finishes than just about anyone I’ve seen. However, he has really not progressed much in his striking and that has really gotten him into some trouble in some of his fights.
In his fight with Muniz, he didn’t look great on the feet and he’s going to be at a big disadvantage against Allen tomorrow night. Brendan Allen’s striking continues to look better and better. He’s going to be the faster man tomorrow and his hands are going to look crisp against someone like Craig.
Honestly, unless Allen makes a big mistake at UFC Vegas 82, this is his fight to lose. I think in the middle rounds, he’s going to land a big combination and send Craig to the mat. A few follow up shots later and he’s looking at his fourth straight finish and his sixth straight win overall.
Prediction: Brendan Allen by TKO – Round 3