Brendan Allen was thrust into the main event spotlight on just a few hours’ notice, and he produced a performance worthy of the headline slot to defeat Andre Muniz at UFC Vegas 70 and gatecrash the UFC’s middleweight rankings.
The bout was originally slated to take place as the co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, but after Nikita Krylov was taken ill on the day of the show, his main event bout with Ryan Spann was scrapped from the card.
It meant that Allen and Muniz were promoted to the main event spot. It was an opportunity for one of them to make a statement, and Allen delivered.
Listed at No. 11 in the official UFC middleweight rankings, Muniz headed into the bout as the betting favorite. He was riding a nine-fight win streak, with victories over the likes of Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Eryk Anders, and Uriah Hall on his resume. More than half of his 28 career wins had come via submission.
None of that concerned Allen, however, who placed his faith in his own submission skills, and forced Muniz to tap to a rear-naked choke late in the third round to claim a huge win for his UFC career. The American was unranked heading into the bout, but that is almost certainly set to change when the UFC rankings are updated on Monday.
Speaking to Michael Bisping immediately after his victory, Allen said he used the words of haters online to help fire him up ahead of the bout.
“I had so many people sending me so much ‘hate stuff’ and ‘you’re gonna lose,’ and this and that. To all the people that supported me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much. To everyone that doubted me, two things (raising both middle fingers) and I’m laughing to the bank, baby!”
“My boy Chico told me I would get the submission victory. I didn’t believe him. I thought I was going to TKO him. But I’m very blessed that Andre took the fight. He’s such a great competitor, such a great person. He’s got two kids just like me. So, much respect to that guy. Thank you so much.”
Allen called on the UFC to hold an event in New Orleans so he and his fellow Louisiana fighters can compete on home soil, then Bisping asked him who he’d like to fight next. Some fighters have a name ready – Allen had a list.
“I’m trying to fight everybody,” he said.
“Either I want to run it with Sean Strickland, let’s run that back. Chris Curtis, let’s run that back. And if none of those two work, let’s go Jack Hermansson. We’ve been supposed to run it a couple of times. Let’s officially run that. Or Dricus du Plessis. No matter what happens next weekend, you’re still ahead of me. Let’s get it.”
The night also saw the return to action of women’s strawweight contender Tatiana Suarez. Suarez had been out of action for almost four years, but looked outstanding on her return as she claimed a second-round submission victory over Montana De La Rosa in their flyweight matchup.
Other notable performances from the night included a first-round submission win for Mike Malott, who defeated former CFFC champion Yohan Lainesse via arm-triangle choke, and Trevor Peek, who finished Erick Gonzalez with a buzzer-beating first-round knockout. There were also stoppage wins for Jordan Leavitt and Joe Solecki.
UFC Vegas 70: Official results
- Brendan Allen def. Andre Muniz via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:25
- Augusto Sakai def. Don’Tale Mayes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tatiana Suarez def. Montana De La Rosa via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:51
- Mike Malott def. Yohan Lainesse via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:15
- Trevor Peek def. Erick Gonzalez via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:59
- Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Gabriella Fernandes via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
- Jordan Leavitt def. Victor Martinez via TKO (knees and punches) – Round 1, 2:27
- Ode Osbourne def. Charles Johnson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Joe Solecki def. Carl Deaton III via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:55
- Nurullo Aliev def. Rafael Alves via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)