UFC on ESPN+ 58: Alvey vs Allen - Prediction & Analysis - 02/05/22
Sam Alvey vs Brendan Allen
“Smilin” Sam Alvey (33-16-1) returns for his 23rd UFC fight. The 35 year old from Wisconsin has fallen on hard times in the UFC as he’s winless in his last 7 fights! This has brought his current record in the UFC to 10-11-1. He has spent most of his career at light heavyweight but has dropped down to middleweight for his last two fights which has not seemed to help. Although his last fight was close as he lost via split decision to Wellington Turman.
Brendan Allen (17-5) got off to a red hot start in his UFC career, winning his first 3 fights and finishing notable names in Kevin Holland and Tom Breese. "All in" capped it off with a solid effort over Kyle Daukaus to make it 3 in a row. He then ran afoul of current card headliner, Sean Strickland, getting finished in the second round. Two more wins were to follow against Karl Roberson and Punahele Soriano but a fight against late replacement, Chris Curtis, did not go his way. Nine of his 17 wins have come by submission and 5 have come by way of knockout. He steps in for this one on incredible short notice (4 days).
Height and reach will be identical for this one.
How They Match Up
Allen has been using his high volume attack to great success throughout his career. He sometimes forgets to defend while in the heat of it, as showcased by Chris Curtis rocking him in the second round. There’s no shame in losing to Chris Curtis though, who’s been doing that sort of thing forever on the regional scene. He was also winning that fight right up until the exact second he wasn’t. Allen is also a very capable grappler and has a solid list of sneaky heel hooks in his arsenal. Wouldn’t that be an unceremonious way to cap off a career for Alvey - getting heel hooked into the sunset. Still, very plausible.
Alvey’s recent disastrous run in the UFC isn’t quite as ugly as it looks as three of those fights went to split decision. It still isn’t pretty though as he hasn’t really done enough to separate himself from his opponents on the scorecards. The blueprint is out there to beat Alvey and you can see even subpar competition like Wellington Turman executing it. That blueprint being to avoid his big counter left hand and grind him down with grappling. Alvey’s takedown defense is solid but with enough persistence, he usually winds up on the mat in most of his fights. It doesn’t help that backing up to the cage is ingrained in his fight style so deeply (although this has helped him defend takedowns with a solid base planted against the fence). I’m not really sure why either, when he does go first and move forward he has success more times than not. We saw this in the Turman fight.
I like that he didn’t touch gloves last time out and came in with a meaner streak but that didn’t translate into more activity. Even more frustrating is he seems to wait until late in fights to get into gear and start throwing. He’s going to need to land a big counter shot to put Allen out in order to win this. It’s actually quite possible due to Allen’s aforementioned poor striking defense (especially against southpaws) but it’s not something I want to hang my hat on.
Allen just has more diversity to his game and way more ways to win this. We’ve seen him bounce back from KO/TKO losses just fine too. He stated he wasn’t going to take anymore short notice fights after the last out but I guess 2022 Sam Alvey was just too good to pass up and I tend to agree here. Give me "All In" Allen to get back on track and send Alvey packing.