Brendan “All In” Allen, 26, is 18-5 as a professional fighter. He’s fought seven times since earning a contract from DWCS in 2019. In those seven fights, Allen is 6-2 with four finish wins and both losses coming by knockout.
Jacob “Mamba” Malkoun, a primary training partner of Robert Whittaker, is 2-1 in the UFC with back-to-back decision wins.
Allen and Malkoun will face each other at this Saturday night’s UFC 275 fight card in Singapore. UFC 275 is a PPV event featuring two title fights and a highly-anticipated strawweight rematch between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The full fight card will air exclusively on
While writing this article, Allen is a sizeable favorite at BetUS. But, I anticipate his line growing wider as we near Saturday night.
A winning $100 bet on Allen would pay out $137 on Saturday night. Malkoun, as the underdog, would return a total of $310 for a $100 bet that is placed.
Allen has all the tools to be a ranked fighter in the 185-pound division. His offensive striking is basic but effective. He uses his length well, fights behind his jab, and mixes in a variety of combinations. Recently, Allen’s left hook has progressed to be a dangerous punch, especially when he is moving backwards. Defensively, though, Allen’s striking is porous. When entering the pocket, Allen often eats a clean combination for his efforts. He has minimal head movement and can get caught with his hands low when looking to wrestle. Fortunately for Allen, despite 2 knockout losses, he has a reliable chin. Allen’s best attribute is his grappling and he relies on his chin to enter the pocket to initiate it. “All In’s” wrestling, like his striking, is basic but effective. He typically pushes his opponent against the cage and uses his natural size to drag his opponent down or transition to the back. Regardless if the fight hits the mat or the grappling is done standing, Allen is aggressive and looks to create an opening to take the back. Once he transitions to the back, Allen continues his aggressive approach to work and find the neck. Overall, Allen is inconsistent because of his lackluster striking defense; but, with his size, aggression, improving striking offense, and dedication to his impressive grappling, Allen has all the tools to climb into the rankings.
Malkoun has an uninspiring and controversial fight style. His typical approach is to slowly walk forward, eat shots and return with rudimentary boxing, and force his opponent back to the cage. Once he gets his opponent against the cage, Malkoun holds the position for as long as the referee allows. He keeps the clinch through head position but does not look to advance position, implement effective grappling, and the strikes he lands are minimal, designed so the ref cannot breakup the clinch. He’ll hold this clinch position for rounds at a time en route to an uneventful win. This style is controversial because it places pressure on the referee and judges. Different referees involve themselves differently in stagnant clinch fights. Some will verbally encourage Malkoun to “work!” In which case, he’ll land a few short punches that constitute as work and continue holding position. Other referees will break the clinch up and force the fight back in the center. After the fight ends, judges have the challenging task of deciding whether Malkoun’s stand and grind style is worthy of a win. Malkoun is a physically limited boxer with a predictable and frustrating, albeit successful, path to victory- clinch and hold.
Said simply, Allen is better everywhere this fight goes. On the feet, Allen will be much faster, land with more power, and have a more varied arsenal of attacks. Then, in the clinch, Allen will be the stronger grappler. Even if Malkoun has position against the cage, Allen is adept at finding a guillotine or reversing position and taking the back. Malkoun’s win streak will end Saturday; I prefer Allen in parlays because a finish or decision are similarly likely, but, as an individual play, I like Allen to find Malkoun’s neck at some point in a clinch exchange.
Prediction: Allen to win by submission (+200 at BetUS)
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.