Arnold Allen is a person of few phrases, but when there’s a cliche about fighters doing their speaking within the ring, the Briton may simply have screamed his solution to victory final outing.
It was in a sold-out O2 Arena in London that the Ipswich featherweight final competed, recording the most important win of his profession by securing a first-round TKO of Dan Hooker in March. It took Allen a second to search out the proper phrases, so to talk, however as soon as he had accomplished so, he drowned out Hooker with a ferocious flurry of punches. Although the New Zealander dropped Allen to a knee someplace amid the onslaught, the Briton’s relentless pursuit of a end paid off inside two-and-a-half minutes, as he stopped Hooker towards the fence.
Next up for the 28-year-old is Calvin Kattar on Saturday, as Allen takes half in a UFC predominant occasion for the primary time. The promotion’s Apex institute in Las Vegas will make for very completely different environment than a sold-out O2 Arena.
“Yeah, just a bit! Just a bit…” Allen says. “I mean, it’s a bit disappointing, but I get my own main event. That’s pretty cool, that makes up for it.”
Allen enters his conflict with Kattar because the UFC’s sixth-ranked featherweight, whereas the American occupies fifth spot.
“It’s what I asked for, so I’m very happy to get the opportunity – especially in a main event spot,” Allen says. “This is the one we’ve been working towards, the step that’s gonna put us up there with the elite. He is an elite opponent, so a win here puts me there.
“[Kattar] has had a great career. I don’t really know him personally, but he’s a good fighter, he’s tough as nails. Even the fights where he’s sort of lost decisively, he’s in it all the way until the end, trying to get a finish. He’s a dangerous guy.”
‘Finish’ is in actual fact in Kattar’s identify, with 13 of the “Boston Finishers”’s 26 wins having come through stoppages, and 11 of these through knockout or TKO. Meanwhile, Allen – regardless of his victory over Hooker – is just not identified for ending fights, however that’s largely on account of a current four-bout run during which he went the space every time. However, 10 of his 18 victories have come through finishes.
The false impression round Allen’s skill to cease opponents, coupled along with his tendency to not depend on trash discuss, has meant the street in the direction of a title shot has maybe been longer for the Briton that it want have been. But his coaching companion Leon Edwards, who claimed welterweight gold within the UFC in August, and new light-weight champion Islam Makhachev are proving that fighters don’t must depend on creating controversy to succeed on the highest degree.
“There’s always gonna be a thing in combat sports, like…” Allen begins. “Talking is always fun, when someone says funny stuff or calls people out, but it goes in waves. I remember before, obviously GSP [Georges St-Pierre] was very humble and never talked, and look at him. He’s one of the best of all time. I think it just comes down to winning at the end of the day – and winning in good fashion as well.”
If Allen can try this on Saturday, he might be subsequent in line to problem featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, although it appears the UFC is eager to pair the Australian with Makhachev in a light-weight title bout early subsequent yr. That may imply an extended watch for Allen, however the Ipswich fighter is adamant that he can’t but suppose that far forward.
“I haven’t even thought about it to be honest with you,” he says. “[Kattar] is the task at hand, that’s what I’m thinking about.”
If he had been compelled to combat once more earlier than difficult for gold, nonetheless, Allen would welcome the problem of another top-five opponent within the division.
“Yeah, all of them really. That’s what I’m here to do. I’ve trained really hard, I’ve dedicated my whole life to this. That’s why I like the challenge, trying to figure out those top opponents. I’ve always thought: The better guys I fight, the better I’m gonna show myself [to be].
“So far, that’s been true; every time I’ve had to step up, I’ve stepped up another level. I think it’s gonna be the same here as well.”