Originally published at UFC Fight Night Report: Brendan Allen submits Andre Muniz in the third round
UFC Fight Night Report: Brendan Allen submits Andre Muniz in the third round
On Saturday evening, the UFC held a Fight Night event from the Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card was set to be headlined by a bout in the light heavyweight division between Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann, but at the start of the main card portion of the broadcast, it was announced that Krylov had fallen ill and that the fight had been removed from the card. In its place, the originally scheduled co-main event moved into the headlining slot, with Andre Muniz facing Brendan Allen. Muniz has looked like a dominant force at middleweight, defeating the likes of Jacare Souza and Uriah Hall throughout his five-fight run in the UFC. Muniz has overwhelmed his opponents with his skillful Jiu-Jitsu, but Brendan Allen is a strong grappler in his own right and was looking to take Muniz’s spot in the middleweight rankings. This card also featured the return of Tatiana Suarez, who returned to the sport after a nearly four-year absence to face Montana De La Rosa in a flyweight bout.
Brendan Fitzgerald provided commentary for this card alongside Dominick Cruz and Michael Bisping. Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded to Joe Solecki, Jordan Leavitt, Trevor Peek, Mike Malott, Tatiana Suarez, and Brendan Allen.
- Nurullo Aliev def. Rafael Alves by majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
- Joe Solecki def. Carl Deaton by rear naked choke at 4:55 of Round 2
- Ode Osbourne def. Charles Johnson by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
- Jordan Leavitt def. Victor Martinez by TKO at 2:33 of Round 1
- Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Gabriella Fernandes by unanimous decision (30-26 all)
- Trevor Peek def. Erick Gonzalez by KO at 4:59 of Round 1
- Mike Malott def. Yohan Lainesse by arm triangle at 4:15 of Round 1
- Tatiana Suarez def. Montana De La Rosa by guillotine choke at 2:51 of Round 2
- Augusto Sakai def. Don’Tale Mayes by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
- Brendan Allen def. Andre Muniz by rear naked choke at 4:25 of Round 3
RAFAEL ALVES (20-11, 155) VS NURULLO ALIEV (8-0, 155) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Alves connected with a pair of quick kicks to begin the fight but was taken down just moments later. Aliev had success in top position, holding Aliev down for a considerable amount of time while landing some short ground and pound strikes to stay active. Aliev allegedly bit the fingers of Alves on the ground, which led to the fighters being stood up, and a point being taken away from Aliev. Alves was unable to accomplish much back on the feet, and with the point deduction taken into account, this was a fairly clear 9-9 round.
Alves jumped for a guillotine attempt following a takedown from Aliev in the second round. It was a solid attempt, but Aliev was eventually able to escape the choke and take top position with roughly three minutes to work. Aliev postured up from half guard and started throwing down hard ground and pound strikes, doing significant damage late in the round. Despite the submission attempt from Alves, this was likely another round for Aliev. 19-18 Aliev.
Aliev walked into a big knee from Alves just seconds into the final round, and Alves opted to go for another guillotine choke in an attempt to finish the fight. Aliev escaped the submission, but this time, Alves took top position, and he had four minutes to work from full mount. Aliev exploded out from under Alves, taking back top position with half of the round remaining. Aliev maintained this position until the end of the bout, and while I thought this was the closest round of the fight, I still gave a slight edge to Aliev. 29-27 Aliev.
WINNER: Nurullo Aliev by majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Aliev’s wrestling was the difference-maker in this fight. Alves certainly had brief moments of success throughout the bout, attempting two submissions as well as landing the biggest shot of the fight, that knee in the third round, but he was unable to return to his feet whenever Aliev took him down, and that ultimately cost him in each round. The broadcast pointed out that Aliev became the first UFC fighter from Tajikistan here, and they showed footage of a filled stadium of people watching his bout live from Tajikistan at three in the morning. Making a point to emphasize this on the broadcast made Aliev feel like a big deal, and this was a strong UFC debut for him.
JOE SOLECKI (12-3, 155.5) VS CARL DEATON (17-5, 2 NC, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Solecki backed Deaton into the fence, where he began to hunt for a takedown. Solecki quickly found success and climbed up the back of Deaton on the feet as Deaton attempted to escape. Solecki did his best to secure the rear naked choke, and he was very close to finishing it multiple times, but Deaton did a good job of fighting the hands, escaping the dangerous position before the end of the round.
Solecki wasted no time in taking Deaton back to the ground in round two. Much like the first round, Solecki was able to work his way to the back of Deaton, where he spent the remainder of the round, focused on improving his positioning. When the opportunity presented itself, he locked in a rear naked choke, and this time, he was able to choke Deaton unconscious.
WINNER: Joe Solecki by rear naked choke at 4:55 of Round 2
Deaton took this fight on short notice, and Solecki was understandably a sizeable favorite going into the bout. Solecki made good on those odds with this performance, largely dominating Deaton with his grappling, all while taking very little damage in return. Deaton did a solid job of defending Solecki’s submission attempts in the first round, but Solecki worked himself into an even stronger position in round two and was able to end the fight with just a few seconds remaining in the round. Solecki is now 5-1 in the UFC following this win.
ODE OSBOURNE (11-5, 1 NC, 130) VS CHARLES JOHNSON (13-3, 130) – CATCHWEIGHT
Osbourne threw out a series of leg kicks to begin the fight and tripped Johnson to the ground momentarily after catching a kick. Osbourne continued to attack the lead leg of Johnson with kicks, and he mixed in the occasional kick to the body as well to great effect. Johnson began to turn up the pressure as the fight progressed, and eventually opted to take Osbourne down in the round’s final minute. Osbourne popped back to his feet quickly, but Johnson’s late work made this a far closer round. 10-9 Osbourne.
Johnson began the second round with a quick takedown, but once again, Osbourne was able to quickly escape to his feet. Osbourne was rewarded for his defensive efforts with a hard kick from Johnson that landed low, resulting in a pause in the action while Osbourne writhed around in pain on the ground for the full five minutes. When the action resumed, Osbourne went back to attacking the lead leg of Johnson, and he landed another kick to the body after catching a kick from Johnson. Johnson responded with a left hand before clinching Osbourne against the cage. It was Osbourne who secured the takedown however, although Johnson quickly escaped to his feet and connected with some heavy elbows, as well as a flying knee. A head kick from Johnson found its mark before the end of the round. 19-19
The fighters battled in the clinch against the cage throughout the early portion of the final round. I thought that Osbourne landed the better strikes from this position, but Johnson started to work his jab when the fighters separated, which prompted Osbourne to shoot for a takedown. He was able to ground Johnson twice, but Johnson was able to escape to his feet both times, and he successfully sprawled on Osbourne’s last takedown attempt, ending the fight on the feet. 29-28 Osbourne.
WINNER: Ode Osbourne by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
This was a very close fight, and I wasn’t surprised to see it result in a split decision. Osbourne seemed a step ahead of Johnson on the feet early in the bout, but Johnson eventually started to fight with far more aggression, and this took its toll on the gas tank of both fighters. By the third round, both fighters were exhausted, but Osbourne seemed to be doing just a bit more damage with his strikes and was able to mix in some takedowns to change the pace of the bout when needed. Osbourne’s UFC record now stands at 4-3 following this win.
JORDAN LEAVITT (10-2, 155.5) VS VICTOR MARTINEZ (13-4, 154.5) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Martinez defended an early takedown attempt, before landing a series of one-two’s to Leavitt, who responded with an accidental low blow. Martinez did not take as long to recover as Ode Osbourne did in the previous bout, and the action quickly resumed. Leavitt went on the attack, landing numerous knees in the clinch, and Martinez crumbled after a big knee to the head, allowing Leavitt to unload with ground and pound, finishing the fight.
WINNER: Jordan Leavitt by TKO at 2:33 of Round 1
Up until this point, Leavitt’s one career KO/TKO win was a slam knockout against an older Matt Wiman, so to see him utilize his striking to secure the early finish against a heavier hitter like Martinez here was quite impressive. Leavitt was quite emotional after his win, and it was clear that his loss to Paddy Pimblett in London last year hit him hard, so this was an important performance for him to bounce back strongly, and one could argue that this was his best performance in the UFC to date. Leavitt’s UFC record improved to 4-2 with this win.
JASMINE JASUDAVICIUS (7-2, 125.5) VS GABRIELLA FERNANDES (8-1, 126) – FLYWEIGHT
Fernandes landed the first notable shot of the fight, a heavy left hand. The fighters repeatedly traded left hands, with Fernandes landing the more impactful blows until Jasudavicius closed the distance and began to wrestle with Fernandes against the cage. Jasudavicius was able to take Fernandes to the ground with two minutes to work. Jasudavicius transitioned to side control right before time expired, ending the round in a strong position. 10-9 Jasudavicius.
Fernandes connected with several strong strikes early in the second round, but Jasudavicius responded with a heavy right hand before engaging Fernandes in the clinch. Jasudavicius took Fernandes back to the ground, and much like the first round, Jasudavicius dominated the fight once it hit the mat. Jasudavicius transitioned into the crucifix position, where she began to throw down countless right elbows, nearly securing a stoppage. The finish didn’t come, however, and this fight would see a third round. 20-17 Jasudavicius.
Fernandes found a home for a solid right hand in the opening seconds of the final round, but she was quickly returned to the ground just moments later. Jasudavicius controlled the action from top position once again, and while she didn’t do quite as much damage as she did in round two, she did more than enough to take this final round on the scorecards. The fight went the distance, and I scored the fight 30-26 for Jasudavicius.
WINNER: Jasmine Jasudavicius by unanimous decision (30-26 all)
Fernandes had the slight edge on the feet, but Jasudavicius had an immense advantage on the ground. In each of the three rounds, Jasudavicius was eventually able to take Fernandes down, and Fernandes had no answers for Jasudavicius afterward. It was a dominant display of grappling from Jasudavicius, who nearly secured the finish after trapping Fernandes in the crucifix position in round two. Jasudavicius’s UFC record now stands at 2-1 following this win.
ERICK GONZALEZ (14-7, 156) VS TREVOR PEEK (7-0, 1 NC, 155.5) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Peek connected with several heavy shots to the head and body in the opening minute, mixing in some hard low kicks as well. A combination of heavy hooks seemed to have Gonzalez rocked, but he was able to take Peek to the ground, relieving the pressure momentarily. Peek escaped to his feet and returned to his earlier strategy of throwing looping heavy hooks, which allowed Gonzalez to counter with further takedowns. Peek was able to return to his feet repeatedly, but he was fighting wildly, which was allowing Gonzalez to take him back down. Still, Peek was throwing with the fight-ending intentions, and one of those huge shots from Peek rocked Gonzalez badly. Gonzalez did his best to recover from the shot, but Peek dropped him hard multiple times, eventually giving referee Kerry Hatley no choice but to stop the fight.
WINNER: Trevor Peek by KO at 4:59 of Round 1
Gonzalez recorded countless takedowns throughout the round, but Peak was able to get an escape to his feet every time, and Peek was throwing every punch with fight-ending intentions, eventually overwhelming Gonzalez with his attack, rocking and dropping him repeatedly to secure the first-round finish. It was far from a flawless performance, with there being some obvious flaws in his style, but it was certainly an entertaining fight, and Peek is unquestionably a very heavy hitter. This marked Peek’s UFC debut, and Gonzalez fell to 0-3 in the promotion following this loss.
MIKE MALOTT (8-1-1, 171) VS YOHAN LAINESSE (9-1, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT
Lainesse connected with a kick to the body early in the fight. Lainesse was having trouble finding his target throughout the opening round, and Malott was able to outpoint him on the feet, although his output was hardly overwhelming. Eventually, Malott opted to change levels and take Lainesse down, and he began to work from top position with just over two minutes remaining in the round. Malott locked in an arm triangle from top mount, and Lainesse was quickly forced to submit.
WINNER: Mike Malott by arm triangle at 4:15 of Round 1
Malott effectively controlled the range on the feet, before opting to take Lainesse down to the ground, where he caught Lainesse with the fight-ending arm triangle. Lainesse never really got going here, and this was a fairly flawless performance from Malott, who was rather emotional following his win. In his post-fight interview, he called for the UFC to return to Canada, specifically Toronto, a city that had not seen a UFC card since December of 2018. Malott’s UFC record now stands at 2-0 following this win.
TATIANA SUAREZ (8-0, 125) VS MONTANA DE LA ROSA (4-1, 125.5) – FLYWEIGHT
The fighters immediately started wrestling in the clinch, where Suarez secured a takedown after a short period. Suarez worked her way onto the back of De La Rosa, but De La Rosa did a good job of returning to her feet, escaping danger momentarily. The fighters spent the remainder of the round wrestling against the cage, with Suarez being the aggressor, but ultimately being unable to take De La Rosa back down.
Suarez returned De La Rosa to the ground with a head and arm throw early in round two, and she began to work from side control on the ground. De La Rosa powered back to her feet, but Suarez immediately jumped for a guillotine choke, and she had the submission locked in tight, forcing De La Rosa to submit.
WINNER: Tatiana Suarez by guillotine choke at 2:51 of Round 2
Four years ago, Tatiana Suarez was the second-ranked contender in the UFC’s strawweight division, undefeated, and seemingly next in line for a shot at the UFC Strawweight Championship. Numerous injuries would prevent her from ever getting that opportunity, and after four years of inactivity, Suarez finally made her return to the sport here, making her flyweight debut in the process. De La Rosa did a better job of defending Suarez’s takedown attempts than the vast majority of Suarez’s strawweight opponents, but Suarez was eventually able to secure takedowns in both rounds, and ultimately ended the fight with a guillotine choke. It was a decisive victory for Suarez in her octagon return, but in her post-fight interview, she made it clear that she will be returning to the strawweight division, where she intends to win the title that she was so close to obtaining in 2019. Her return adds a great deal of intrigue to the strawweight title picture, and I think a future fight against Weili Zhang would be a very interesting bout stylistically.
AUGUSTO SAKAI (15-5-1, 265) VS DON’TALE MAYES (9-4, 1 NC, 261.5) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Mayes attacked the body early in the bout, prompting Sakai to fire back with some heavy right hands that narrowly missed their target. Sakai partially landed a knee to the head as Mayes shot for a takedown, and while Mayes took the knee well, it allowed Sakai to sprawl on the takedown attempt and keep the fight on their feet. Sakai unloaded with knees to the head of Mayes against the cage, before kicking the leg of Mayes out from under him, and following him down to the ground. Mayes escaped to his feet before the end of the round, but this was a fairly clear round to score in favor Sakai. 10-9 Sakai.
Sakai began the second round with a big right hook. The fighters wrestled against the cage for the near entirety of the round, with neither fighter doing much to gain the clear advantage. Sakai landed a pair of heavy knees on the body throughout this period, which was likely the most significant moments of damage throughout the round. This was a very dull five minutes. 20-18 Sakai.
The two fighters quickly returned to their clinch battle against the cage in the third round. Once again, there was not a great deal of action on either side, but Sakai eventually secured a takedown, which was a small moment of significance. Mayes escaped to his feet with roughly a minute remaining in the round but was unable to mount any significant offense, and the fight went the distance. 30-27 Sakai.
WINNER: Augusto Sakai by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
The final two rounds of this fight were absolutely brutal to watch. They spent the vast majority of it wrestling against the cage, with virtually no moments of significance from either fighter, yet Sakai was always just far enough ahead of Mayes that the outcome was never in doubt, removing all suspense as well. Sakai was desperately in need of a win going into this fight, and he did what he needed to do to secure that much-needed win here, but this was very much a fight to forget for those who had the misfortune of witnessing it play out live. Sakai’s UFC record now stands at 5-4 following this win.
ANDRE MUNIZ (23-4, 125) VS BRENDAN ALLEN (20-5, 125) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Allen looked sharp on the feet in the fights opening minute, wobbling Muniz with one of his straight right hands. Muniz connected with a spinning kick to the body, as well as a heavy right hook. Allen took the big shots from Muniz well, and he continued to pressure forward, looking like the more comfortable fighter on the feet. Muniz shot for a takedown, but the attempt was defended by Allen, who was scraped in the eye moments later, leading to a short break in the action before the end of the round.
Muniz began the second round with a one-two head kick combination. Muniz was countering well whenever Allen went on the attack early in the second round, but Allen’s takedown defense remained strong, and he was able to take top position on the ground following a reversed takedown attempt from Muniz. Allen transitioned into side control, and he was able to maintain the position until time expired.
The fighters hugged at the start of the third and final round. Muniz landed several strong strikes to begin the final round, which prompted Allen to respond with some short combinations of his own. Muniz seemed to be packing more power behind his punches and was largely landing the better strikes throughout the round, but Allen continued to pressure forward, firing right back whenever he got tagged. Allen eventually opted to take Muniz to the ground, where he quickly transitioned to the back of Muniz. In the fight’s final minute, Allen was locked in a rear naked choke, and Muniz was forced to submit.
WINNER: Brendan Allen by rear naked choke at 4:25 of Round 3
Muniz has looked phenomenal since making his UFC debut, largely running through his five opponents, but he met a roadblock in Brendan Allen here, who managed to beat Muniz at his own game. Everyone already knew Allen was one of the division’s top grapplers, but to handle Muniz with such ease on the ground showcased just how good he is. I thought after a rough start to the fight on the feet, Muniz’s striking improved considerably, and despite the loss, there are a lot of positives to take away from this fight for Muniz as well. Still, this was Allen’s night, and when the rankings are next updated, he’ll likely find himself as a ranked middleweight. After the fight, he called for rematches with Chris Curtis and Sean Strickland, as well as fights against Jack Hermansson and Dricus du Plessis.