Punahele Soriano (8-0) is going to APEX for the first time since his successful audition at the Contender Series in 2019. He competed against Jamie Pickett and unanimously won the decision to earn a UFC debut on the UFC 245 map six months later. He made his debut 6-0 with everything yet to be proven, but his first two UFC fights couldn’t have gone better. He smoked Oskar Piechota in the first round and returned a year later to take on the highly acclaimed Dusko Todorovic, but also smoked him in the first round.
Brendan Allen (16-4) continues to impress in the middleweight division and responded perfectly to his first loss in eight fights last November. He started his UFC career with a flyer that Kevin Holland submitted, knocked out Tom Breese, and received a unanimous decision on Kyle Daukaus. He then ran into Sean Strickland, who snatched the streak with a TKO in the second round, but he returned in April of that year to subdue Karl Roberson with a gorgeous ankle lock.
It’s amazing to see this fight in the preliminary round. They are both top middleweight prospects and very exciting to watch. They are both versatile, but they will approach this fight differently.
Soriano has a wrestling background but relies on his punch with devastating knockout power. Allen is a good striker too, but his bread and butter is his wrestling as a decent wrestler and black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Allen will chase the takedown, but he needs to be careful as he likes to knock his opponents down before shooting into it. He doesn’t have the best defense, so if he tries to just walk within Soriano’s reach he’ll be set on fire.
We believe everyone here will either look great or look terrible. We can see him go on a giant Soriano bomb and pass out early, or he could get his hands on Soriano and drag him to the deck and complete a filing. Allen’s striking defense is the concern