Though he suffered the second loss of his career in 2017, middleweight up-and-comer Brendan Allen still sees the importance the year had on his development.
Not only did his loss to Eryk Anders at LFA 18 in June play a big part in shaping his 2017, but a change of gyms allowed him to forward his game exponentially last year. Anders has since moved on to the UFC, where he will headline UFC Fight Night 125 in Brazil opposite former UFC champion Lyoto Machida.
“The performances weren’t what I wanted them to be, especially with the loss,” Allen told MMAWeekly.com. “The year was up and down. Overall, I learned a lot about myself and was able to make some good moves like going to Roufusport. It’s a move in the right direction and that’s better for my career.
“I’ve yet to show the real me and what I’m capable of doing. I feel I’ve definitely grown. I learn something new about myself (all the time). I definitely learned more from my two losses than on any win. I’m still growing and getting better, and I’m definitely a better person, a better fighter, than a year ago.”
After picking up a win in his last fight against Chris Harris last August, Allen (8-2) will look to kick off his 2018 by picking up his first major MMA title when he faces Anthony Hernandez (5-0) for the LFA middleweight title on Friday in Lake Charles, La.
“First off, I feel Anthony is a really game opponent,” said Allen. “He doesn’t try to get a win through judges or anything like that, and I enjoy that. I look forward to being in another fight.
“I think it will be an entertaining fight. I’m prepared for anything that’s going to happen. I train my butt off to be ready for any scenario that he could dream of pulling out. I’m definitely looking forward to the fight. I hope to go out there and show what I’ve worked so hard on.”
For Allen, not only is an LFA title validation of the moves he’s made at this level of his career, but also a potential gateway to take the next step up in competition.
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“It means something to me as far as proving that you’re the best in that division, but at the end of the day it is a means to going to the next level,” Allen said.
It’s a move up to the next level that Allen hopes a win over Hernandez will lead to; and if not now, hopefully within the near future.
“This could be my last fight with the LFA,” said Allen. “I love the LFA, it’s a great organization, but I feel I should be competing with the best in the world.
“There’s nothing I can say about it, I just have to go out there and win. I need to go out and showcase my skills, and after that, it’s out of my hands. I just need to go out there and fight.”
(Photo courtesy of Mike Jackson, LFA)