Arnold Allen needed to make a statement at UFC London after a slew of decision wins and an undefeated 8-0 start to his octagon career failed to propel him into title contention.
Consider that statement made.
Allen won the largest win of his life on Saturday, beating Dan Hooker by a brutal first round knockout in UFC London’s comain event.
“It’s huge,” Allen said after the bout. “To be honest, I know I’m a finisher. I know I’m a decision guy really, I’m pretending now, but I’ve got the power in my hands. My coaches say that I’m a hard hitting fighter and I use body shots to bring down my opponents in sparring. It just doesn’t come out in the fight. It’s not possible for me to face the style of my opponents. It almost happened in my last fight but I broke my baby fingers and it didn’t.
” I have always believed that the more I fight the better my results will be. He’s by far the greatest guy I have fought. His skill set is unmatched. I did my very best .”
Allen has now won all nine of his UFC appearances and his TKO finish of Hooker was his first knockout since 2014. It’s been a slow rise for the 28-year-old featherweight — injuries and bad luck have prevented Allen from fighting more than once a year throughout the entirety of his octagon run, which has made it difficult for “Almighty” to gather the momentum needed to make a real push to face the division’s elite. Allen hopes 2022 will be the year to change that and is already looking at a fight against Calvin Kattar.
“I would like to get in the top five. I believe he is top five. That’s why that fight will put me there,” Allen said. “And we got offered that fight for a main event spot last year, or earlier in the year I think, but I was out with injury.
” I think [that stylistic pairing] is really great. It works because he’s shorter than the guy [Hooker],. He’s a boxer and I am a fighter, so this fight is fan-friendly. I believe I’m the stronger boxer .”
Allen currently holds the No. 1 spot in MMA Fighting. 11 ranked featherweight in the world, while Kattar is ranked at No. 8. In terms of the UFC, however, Kattar is indeed a top five contender.
Hooker, on the other hand, will likely face some hard questions with himself after suffering his fourth loss over his last five fights. The last three of those setbacks have been first-round finishes, and the drop down back to 145 pounds wasn’t the remedy he was hoping for.
” “I didn’t believe it was the best decision,” Allen stated about Hooker. Hooker said that someone such as him would do well to go up [in weight] again. However, because he is a person who knows himself and knows what he feels, it might be an ideal idea. But yeah, I think his best work’s at lightweight. He is not to be criticized, but I do think that making an extra cut isn’t a wise choice .
Allen indicated that he might be available to return as early as June. He also gave an early prediction for next month’s title fight between UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273.
“I believe Volkanovski will dominate that,” Allen stated. “I think he can even get a finish.”