Brendan Allen vs Kyle Daukaus: A Contender Series Showcase
By James Lee
As a lightweight contender fight between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker will continue the UFC’s stint of live coverage in Las Vegas, another main card fight will showcase the success of a product built in their Apex Arena.
As long-time television show, The Ultimate Fighter, was once the hotbed for the company acquiring the most promising talent, that has now changed with the introduction of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017.
Importantly, the competition gives rising fighters an avenue to hone their talent, before entering the sport’s elite promotion or being told that their time is not yet. For the likes of Sean O’Malley and Chase Hooper in particular, their performances gave them an established platform and story to build on from for immediate success upon their full promotional debut.
It could be said that Saturday could showcase two of the finest alumni from the Series and two that have been tipped for championship potential in Brendan Allen and Kyle Daukaus.
Evidently, the middleweight division has forever been a key element to the UFC’s business and it could be said the current state is as positive as it has ever been. Not only flooded with talent but with youth, as most who occupy the top spots from Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa, Darren Till and Robert Whittaker are likely to be relevant for several years to come.
Brendan Allen has been tipped to enter that group relatively soon. After securing a UFC contract after a first-round submission win in 2019, the 24-year-old has since beaten the respected Kevin Holland and Tom Breese.
His victory earlier this year against Breese was particularly impressive. The Englishman himself was noted as a possible middleweight contender for the future, but Allen put an end to that with a TKO finish within five minutes. Success in notable promotion LFA in years prior to the UFC further promotes his ability and captured the meaning behind the Contender Series in acknowledging the best young talent in the world.
Interestingly, Kyle Daukaus, although successful under the DWCS banner, failed to secure a contract from his performance. The 27-year-old was forced to regroup and secure two further victories before being given his UFC debut on Saturday.
Although more of an unknown than Allen, Daukaus has cemented himself as an accomplished grappler, with eight of his wins coming by submission. Crucially, Daukaus has yet to face a professional defeat so shall bring that undefeated confidence and tension to Saturday’s events.
Ultimately, as all eyes are on the Las Vegas main event, the middleweight fight between Brendan Allen and Kyle Daukaus will show the best of the Apex’s creation and further exemplify the importance of the Contender Series in honing the most promising talent for the UFC.