Morning Report: Brendan Allen knows ‘in my heart I’m better than Sean Strickland, ‘and I think he does too’

Brendan Allen is becoming a serious threat in the middleweight division.

UFC Vegas 82 was another good night for the 27-year-old bonus collector. Tasked with a fellow talented grappler in Scotland’s Paul Craig, Allen (23-5) pulled off a third-round rear-naked choke victory, extending his winning streak to six and collecting his third Performance of the Night in that stretch.

Of Allen’s six recent wins, five have come via rear-naked choke. The Beaufort, South Carolina native has only suffered defeat twice inside the octagon, starting with the now-champion Sean Strickland in a 190-pound catchweight in November 2020. In his nine fights since then, Allen has made it clear he wants a rematch with “Tarzan” and is now closer than ever to that reality. Despite their banter in the time that followed, Allen has nothing bad to say about the champion now. However, he still believes he’ll get redemption if granted the opportunity.

“I hope the UFC sees that and knows that I am the next big thing,” Allen said during the UFC Vegas 82 post-fight show on ESPN+. “I’ve been in there with Sean. I was a lot younger, I was a lot more immature mentally, and I think I was still winning that fight.

“I just made a bad audible, and I got caught. I’m happy he’s the champion. Congratulations to him. I think he’s a funny guy like he plays the antics, but all that aside, I know in my heart I’m better, and I think he does too, but we’ll see what happens.”

Strickland’s title reign has given new life to the division, opening up things for the elite-level mainstay contenders. First to challenge the outspoken American will be one of the fresher faces in South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis when the two meet in the UFC 297 main event in January.

Like Strickland, Du Plessis has been a perennial underdog on his path to No. 1 contender status. Against the champion, Allen doesn’t feel that should change.

“Dricus is the luckiest guy in the world, but I don’t think he beats Sean,” Allen said. “I think Sean’s that guy, he starts slow and he comes on. Stylistically, I think Sean’s a little too much and a little too experienced for Dricus. Dricus just runs his mouth and he catches guys on bursts.

“But other than [Robert] Whittaker, who has he beat the whole time in a fight? He’s always losing and he comes back, which is great. He can dig deep, he’s good at digging deep. Congrats to him, but I don’t personally think he beats Sean. He definitely doesn’t beat me, so I don’t worry about it.”

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Rankings. Is Bellator’s Patchy Mix the best bantamweight in the world?

The MMA Hour.

Sound & Pound.

UFC Fights We’re Thankful For.

PFL Championship Fight Week.

Full (bare-knuckle) fight.

Volk Steak Ramen.

Reaction. MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti, Jed Meshew, and Damon Martin make sense of PFL’s acquisition of Bellator, and what it all means.

On To the Next One. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and Alex K. Lee discuss the matches to make after UFC Vegas 82.








On to something…?



One last rodeo.


What a time.

Marcos Rogério de Lima (21-10-1) vs. Justin Tafa (7-3, 1 NC); UFC 298, Feb. 17

Allen is starting to look pretty legit. I think matching him against Jared Cannonier is the move next.

Thanks for reading!


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