When looking back over his 2016, middleweight up-and-comer Brendan Allen feels the year was productive overall, with perhaps his biggest steps being taken after his first loss.
“I started off last year with a good win in January, in March I had a mental lapse and lost that one, but since then I’ve come back and showed a little bit more of myself in each fight (that I won),” Allen told MMAWeekly.com.
“I’m not showing everything that’s there, but I feel I’ve done well, and have shown improvement in every single fight.”
Allen feels his loss made him take a hard look at the things he was doing wrong, and has since been able to grow from each fight whereas before he would more concentrate on steps he made during training.
“I just feel like I’m starting to show more of myself,” Allen said. “I never fought to anywhere to how I trained. I always looked at my fights and couldn’t take anything away.
“Ever since I lost to Trevon (Giles), I see in my fights what I need to do, what I need to fix and little holes here and there. I’m starting to learn more about myself as I’ve matured as a fighter and a person in general.”
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In addition to his head coach, former UFC vet Rich Clemente, Allen’s father also helps with his training. Having his dad with him has definitely been a boon to Allen during his career.
“Sometimes we don’t get along well when he’s in that (coaching) role, but as I’ve gotten older we understand where we come from and grasp each other,” Allen said. “I grew up with him my whole life; he’s raised me, he knows when things aren’t going right, when he needs to step in and what to do in order for me to overcome that.”
On Friday in Lake Charles, La., Allen (6-1) seeks to add to his winning streak when he takes on vet Jon Kirk in the 185-pound co-main event of Legacy Fighting Alliance 3.
“My philosophy is that I don’t train for one specific opponent; I just train to get better,” said Allen. “If a guy is really good in certain areas, I’ll change up a couple things in training to sharpen up on certain skills.
“I feel (Kirk is) a tough guy, but if I go out there and just do what I do, I’ll put him away.”
With things on the upturn, Allen believes 2017 can be his breakout year, and possibly lead him to the next step of his career.
“I hope to beat Jon and finish him,” Allen said. “If I do that, it will be five (wins) in a row with five finishes.
“I’d like to fight for the LFA 185-pound belt between the winner of Trevin and (Ryan) Spann. Hopefully I get presented that opportunity, and if so, I win it and hopefully get a call from the UFC.”
(Photo Courtesy of Valor Fights)
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