Rising middleweight contender Brendan Allen was more than happy to take on Scottish grappling ace Paul Craig on the mat, and he forced “Bearjew” to tap to a rear-naked choke in the third round of their bout at UFC Vegas 82.
Allen and Craig faced off in the five-round middleweight main event at the UFC Apex, where the American called the tune as he imposed his game on Craig, took him to the mat and set to work as he applied heavy pressure on the Scot.
Allen scored with slicing elbows from the top while looking to work an opening for a submission. The cut was a tricky one on the outside of Craig’s eye, but didn’t overly affect his approach to the fight as he appeared unruffled with having to work off his back – unsurprising given his penchant for triangle-choke finishes.
However, Allen’s seasoned grappling game kept him largely out of trouble. It was only when he attempted to lock up a rear-naked choke on Craig that he found himself in danger as Craig immediately countered with a calf-slicer. Allen responded with an ankle lock of his own and the pair traded leglock submission attempts on the ground.
That exchange aside, Allen was the aggressor for the majority of the fight, and after stinging Craig with a big punch early in the round, the pair went to the mat again. This time, Allen took Craig’s back and locked up a rear-naked choke to force the tap 38 seconds into the round.
After the fight, Allen gave an impassioned plea for a number-one contender fight as he campaigned for a shot at the top guys in the division. With six wins in a row, and four successive rear-naked choke finishes, he’s certainly built a strong case to join the division’s top men.
UFC Vegas 82: Official results
- Brendan Allen def. Paul Craig via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 0:38
- Michael Morales def. Jake Matthews via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Chase Hooper def. Jordan Leavitt via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:58
- Payton Talbott def. Nick Aguirre via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 0:58
- Amanda Ribas def. Luana Pinheiro via TKO (spinning wheel kick and punches) – Round3, 3:53
- Myktybek Orolbai def. Uros Medic via submission (neck crank) – Round 2, 4:12
- Joanderson Brito def. Jonathan Pearce via submission (ninja choke) – Round 2, 3:54
- Jose Johnson def. Chad Anheliger via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:49
- Christian Leroy Duncan def. Denis Tiuliulin via TKO (punches and elbows) – Round 2, 4:24
- Mick Parkin def. Caio Machado via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jeka Seragih def. Lucas Alexander via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:31
- Ailin Perez def. Lucie Pudilovia via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Nikolas Motta vs. Trey Ogden ruled a no contest (premature stoppage) – Round 3, 3:11
- Rafael Estevam def. Charles Johnson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)