Bruno Silva

Top middle-weight prospects Brendan Allen and Bruno Silva are set to lead off the main card this weekend at UFC Jacksonville. With both coming off of strong finishes against well-respected names within their division, this is sure to be a pivotal match in both fighters’ careers and could catapult them into a top spot in a division desperate for new competition.

Brendan Allen has had a resurgence since his knockout loss against Chris Curtis in 2021, putting together an impressive four-fight win streak, three of which by submission. On the other hand, Silva has established himself as a dangerous dark horse in his division, with a number of brutal knockouts and hard-fought wars against established names; the likes of former champion Alex Pereira, Gerald Meerschart, and his most recent win against Brad Tavares.

Both are dangerous fighters on their feet and on the ground and have sufficient momentum to make this a fascinating fight.

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Betting Odds

With the momentum of an impressive four-fight win streak, Brendan Allen comes into this bout as a near two-to-one favorite.

  • Brendan Allen: -190 (BetUS)
  • Bruno Silva: +160 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Brendan Allen has been on a remarkable tear streak since his setback against Chris Curtis, showcasing his versatility and resilience in the process. He has put together an impressive four-fight win streak, with three of those victories coming via submission, making him a sizable submission threat in the middleweight division. When he can find a top position, he’s lethal in his pursuit of submissions, having a vast array of chokes at his disposal to work in with his vicious ground-and-pound. He’s also sharp when it comes to reversing position or creating submission threats from the bottom in his guard, making his opponents more hesitant to shoot takedowns as he’s progressed through the UFC.

He’s no slouch on the feet either, though. Allen’s improvement in his striking has allowed him to create more opportunities to take the fight to the ground, where he truly shines as a submission artist. He’s much more comfortable to exchange in the pocket than he was when he first broke into the UFC. In his most recent bouts, he has displayed fairly technical striking, incorporating more body kicks and slicker footwork. These adjustments have helped him secure his previous three wins in a cleaner fashion.

Bruno Silva has steadily built a reputation as a dangerous contender within the middleweight division. He’s gone toe-to-toe with some of the best, taking Alex Pereira to a decision in a hard-fought war after amassing a four-fight knockout streak, and proving himself to have dangerous hands and a solid ground game throughout the entirety of the fight. He’s an aggressive fighter who likes to sit in the pocket and force exchanges with his opponents, where he wins in most cases. His takedown defense is also impressive, not only in his ability to sprawl and get his back to the cage but also because of his devastating knees that detract his opponents from shooting.

On the ground, he’s adept when he can find top position, utilizing vicious ground-and-pound to wear out opponents, but quickly falls apart on his back if he can’t establish some level of guard. His recent fight against Gerald Meerschart exposed a lot of holes in his ground game, which serves Brendan Allen well going into this fight as a similar stylistic matchup. However, he also displayed remarkable toughness and grit throughout that bout, clipping Meerschart all throughout when they were on the feet with shots that could very well detract Allen from using his forward pressure. He also punishes opponents for shooting lazy shots, making them carry his weight off of their back, which Allen has been guilty of when pushed to fatigue in previous bouts.

Prediction and Betting Guide

Despite the depth in Allen’s record and his recent resurgence in the division, I’m going with Silva on this one. Although Allen is much stronger on the ground, Silva seems to be more well-rounded and dangerous at any time in his fights. The knockout power he possesses is indisputable and, if it doesn’t knock Allen out, it’s sure to change the pace of the fight. He’s also got a good skill set to counter many of Allen’s weapons, with powerful knees and great spacing to control the fight.

In reality, though, this fight is a pick ’em in my mind, and I’m just glad we get to see these two fight at what’s most likely the best time for each other’s careers.

Pick: Bruno Silva to Win (+160) or Bruno Silva via KO/TKO (+300)

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