UFC on ESPN 31's Brendan Allen wants Darren Till next, but Sean Strickland rematch is key

Asia's Tech News Daily

LAS VEGAS – Brendan Allen knows what he wants out of his career and is aware that he’s got to fight his way to it.

UFC on ESPN 31's Brendan Allen wants Darren Till next, but Sean Strickland rematch is key
© Provided by MMAJunkie

That’s why Allen (17-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has been unfazed in the lead-up to Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 31, where he’s gone through three opponent changes before finally settling on Chris Curtis (27-8 MMA, 1-0 UFC) for a middleweight matchup at the UFC Apex.

“I feel I’m the best, so I should be able to beat anybody in the world,” Allen told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN 31 media day. “Especially when I have a camp, and I’m training and I’m ready to go. Everything is sharp, and I should be able to make the adjustments if I have to and get the W.

“I feel like I do everything better than him. Of course like everyone else, you have to be cautious. Everyone has a puncher’s chance. I feel pretty tough with any punch that I see coming, but you never know. Obviously the goal is to make him miss and make him pay for that.”

Allen, 25, has shown that he’s a legitimate prospect at 185 pounds. He’s quickly shedding that label, however, and if his current trajectory holds, will soon be viewed as a title contender in the weight class.

The belt is Allen’s ultimate goal, but it’s all just part of the bigger picture. Allen badly wants to avenge his only career loss against Sean Strickland (24-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), which came by second-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 182 in November 2020. Allen has previously labeled the fight as a “fluke” result, and he’s called for the rematch many times, but it hasn’t happened.

It hasn’t become any less of a priority, but Allen said he’s able to sit back and take comfort in knowing it’ll happen eventually.

“I think we all know he’s not going to take it again,” Allen said. “Which, if I’m being a businessman, OK, it doesn’t make sense right now. Eventually the fight will make sense. I don’t know, man. He’s a big talker, but to me is a facade. I don’t like him. I don’t like him as a person, and I don’t care for him. I think that’s what makes it real rough.”

Allen said he would be ready to detour his career for a rematch with Strickland at any time, even if it meant passing on a title shot. Strickland needs to be willing, though, and until that happens, Allen said he’s going to focus on other things.

Although he has to get past Curtis first at UFC on ESPN 31, Allen said one of his targets for 2022 is Darren Till (18-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC), and he hopes to prove worthy of that fight with his next performance.

“I hope to see Darren Till next year,” Allen said. “That’s one I would really like. That’s my plan. But obviously my plans don’t mean too much if they don’t line up with the matchmaking.”

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