An undefeated amateur MMA world champion.
A college student who is almost a year from graduation.
An aspiring entrepreneur.
A pro fighter with a 6-1 record.
A man barely old enough to buy beer.
You might think these are five different people. Instead, it’s one early 20-something who has his life better mapped out than just about every entitled Silicon Valley millennial combined. It all started when Brendan Allen was still in grade school.
“My brother was in high school and I was playing football, and a friend came to him and said he was going to jiu-jitsu and asked him if he wanted to try it,” Allen told Combat Press. “So, he came home [and] told my dad he wanted to try it. My dad told me about it and asked me if I wanted to go. I told him yes, and we went to a class. We went and watched a class, and I said that’s what I wanted to do, so he bought me a gi and I started training jiu-jitsu.”
Anybody who has spent any time in a jiu-jitsu gym knows that the earlier someone gets started in the sport, the better. There are kids out there who are barely 10 years old, but they are absolute killers. This proved to be a great foundation for the MMA standout.
“In high school, I got into wrestling and started training stand-up a little bit,” Allen said. “When I was 17, I started fighting in Mississippi. I wasn’t of age at the time, and I got my first title before I was 18. I held that and defended it three times. Then I did the IMMAF championships, won that and turned pro.”
Before reaching the age of 20, Allen had racked up an impressive record that many pros can’t even match. Today, he doesn’t get much time, if any, wearing a gi, but he has finished his opponents in all six of his professional wins, including four by submission, and his only loss was to Trevin Giles at Legacy Fighting Championship 52 in March 2016. It remains the only loss in an MMA career that includes a perfect mark through nine amateur fights in addition to his pro record.
“He was the better man that night, so my hat’s off to him,” Allen admitted. “It was a lot of in-my-head type things. When you go 15-0, you start wondering when you’re going to lose, because it’s going to happen sometime. It’s inevitable. Those things play a role in your head. I warmed up for an hour and 15 minutes straight, because I didn’t know what time I was fighting, but it is what it is. If I get to fight him again, I’ll finish him in the first.”
The loss to Giles was a tough one for the young prospect. Allen had all the tools and skill he needed to pull off a win, but it wasn’t his night. The nerves proved to be a bigger factor. However, in less than nine months, Allen managed to close out the year with a four-fight winning streak, stringing together four submission victories, the last of which earned him the Valor Fights middleweight strap. His sole loss was a tough pill to swallow, but all signs are pointing in the right direction.
In the latter part of 2016, Legacy FC and the Resurrection Fighting Alliance announced that the promotions would be merging to form the Legacy Fighting Alliance, which combines the two top feeder promotions to the UFC. For an aspiring Octagon contender like Allen, this is a match made in heaven. He will serve as one half of the co-main event Friday night at LFA 3. His opponent will be 31-fight veteran Jon Kirk, who is on a three-fight streak of his own.
“I don’t watch much tape,” Allen said. “My dad does that for me and tells me what to do. My coach watches it a little bit. From what I take from it, he’ll stay out a little bit, kick, and if he can’t land anything, he tries to clinch and go to the ground. I love being in the clinch and I love being on the ground, so it doesn’t matter to me, but I hope I put him to sleep in the second with punches or elbows or something.”
Allen trains at some of the top gyms in the Gulf Coast region. He is associated with many of the region’s best UFC veterans, including Tim Credeur, Alan Belcher and Rich Clementi, who serves as Allen’s head coach. Allen has a solid background and a bright future, and he plans on getting at Giles once again. Giles headlines Friday’s event, so the two are definitely on a collision course.
“I’m going to go in there and finish them like I’m supposed to until I get the rematch with Trevin or get the big call-up,” Allen said. “Hopefully, the rematch happens in the big show. I probably want that more than the call, but I want to beat him where it counts. I want to beat him where everybody sees it.”
While Allen is in between training, he is either hunting or finishing up his studies at Southeast Louisiana University, where he should graduate with a Criminal Justice degree next spring. Even in his very early 20s, he is already working on his future career plan, but it is not in Criminal Justice.
“I was going to go into law enforcement, but I was talking to my dad and I’m going to go into business with him,” Allen explained. “I’m going to get my contractor’s license and realtor’s license. There’s more money to be made there than in law enforcement.
“My dad’s a second man in charge of a construction company and about to open up his own. He’s going to collaborate with the guy he works for now, because they’re good friends. I plan on going into business with him, being the second man in charge of his business and eventually taking that over. I plan on doing that along with real estate.”
Most 20-somethings are barely out of school, if going at all, and they have no idea what they want to do. Allen isn’t a typical 20-something. He already has a very successful fighting career that is still in its early stages. He’s on his way to a college degree and has a long-term business plan in place. Of course, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is his bitter loss to Giles. His sole focus is to get that one back.