After Phil Hawes withdrew from a middleweight bout against Alvey early in fight week, it appeared “Smile’n” wasn’t going to get a chance to step in the octagon this weekend. However, Brendan Allen has come in to save the day.
Allen (17-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has agreed to step in and fight Alvey (33-16-1 MMA, 10-11-1 UFC) in a matchup that will now be contested in the light heavyweight division. MMA Junkie verified the switch with multiple people close to the situation following an initial report from Eurosport.
UFC Fight Night 200 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The entire card streams on ESPN+.
Allen, 26, will attempt to rebound from an upset loss to Chris Curtis at UFC on ESPN 31 in December. He’s won nine of 10 fights prior to that bout, and after a strong start against Curtis, eventually faltered after taking some hard shots.
Despite claiming after the loss that he would no longer take short-notice fights, Allen is back in for another one with just four days to go.
Alvey, 35, will attempt to capitalize on a potentially vulnerable version of Allen. He’s currently riding a seven-fight winless skid, and has not had his hand raised since June 2018. If he loses this weekend, Alvey would match B.J. Penn for most consecutive fights without a victory in UFC history.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
Jack Hermansson vs. Sean Strickland
Nick Maximov vs. Punahele Soriano
Carlston Harris vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Bryan Battle vs. Tresean Gore
Julian Erosa vs. Steven Peterson
Brendan Allen vs. Sam Alvey
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)
John Castaneda vs. Miles Johns
Hakeem Dawodu vs. Mike Trizano
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Chidi Njokuani
Phil Rowe vs. Jason Witt
Alexis Davis vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Jailton Almeida vs. Danilo Marques
Denys Bondar vs. Malcolm Gordon